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If at first you don’t succeed…

nsn 28 June 2011 50

So having failed to excite Canberra shoppers with the factory outlet experiment that was Brand Depot, Canberra Airport is announcing the April 2012 arrival of the Majura Park Shopping Centre, featuring Canberra’s biggest Woolies, a Big W, and a Dick Smith.

I guess the recent addition of a Woolworths petrol station at Majura Park should have been a bit of a hint as to what was to be made of the Brand Depot building, but really, another Woolworths? And a Big W? Are people actually going to travel out to Majura Park for this stuff, or is Woolies just counting on picking up enough custom from the people who travel out to Costco without realising they need to spend $60 to join Costco before they will even be allowed in the door?


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harvyk1 10:00 am 29 Jun 11

jayjay said :

Your comments amaze me.
Woolworths is Australias largest retail operator. Do you think that they didnt do any homework before announcing this?
They would have researched this for a long time and know that they can/will make this happen.

No one doubts that they can’t / won’t make this happen… We’re questioning the motives as to why? Why would they build in the middle of no-where when other business have failed so recently, especially as there are multiple other closer Woolies \ Big W \ Dick Smith options closer to a very large majority of Canberra, and I doubt the nearby farming region has the numbers to support such things.

jayjay 12:13 am 29 Jun 11

Your comments amaze me.
Woolworths is Australias largest retail operator. Do you think that they didnt do any homework before announcing this?
They would have researched this for a long time and know that they can/will make this happen.

djk 10:01 pm 28 Jun 11

2620watcher said :

Future planning for when the farms on Majura Ave get carved up into 400sqm blocks……

250sqm blocks more like it, unless you are saying they will have giant, mansion-ready 400sqm blocks?

2620watcher 7:34 pm 28 Jun 11

Future planning for when the farms on Majura Ave get carved up into 400sqm blocks……

Golden-Alpine 6:56 pm 28 Jun 11

p1 said :

MissChief said :

If, however, they put something different out there that isn’t anywhere else, well then…

I reckon that the Bland Depot building would have made an awesome gokart venue.

Nice or Zone 3 (laser tag).

Golden-Alpine 6:54 pm 28 Jun 11

My prediction is that the 13,000 future development will be a Masters store, another Woolworths LTD business. You heard it here first people.

harvyk1 6:46 pm 28 Jun 11

Ryoma said :

In turn, what will our cities look lie if everything that was once geared towards funnelling us towards these centres (roads, public transport, and the location of other servcies) no longer holds true?

These centers will continue to exist, not everyone wants to wait a couple of weeks (or even a couple of days) for delivery, people will realise that they are paying for the convinence factor of getting the product now, the smart shops will point out that is what the extra cost covers.

Plus there is the social aspect to shopping which some people have. Chances are shops will do what they can to engage the social aspect, just look at tupperware, people hold parties to purchase a product where a similar product could be brought from woolies in 10 minutes at a similar price.

rosscoact 6:37 pm 28 Jun 11

Ryoma said :

What would most of the Westfields look like if they lost almost everything except women’s fashion and their food courts? If we think it cannot happen here, the USA has had plenty of malls go belly up in the past 5 years.

In turn, what will our cities look lie if everything that was once geared towards funnelling us towards these centres (roads, public transport, and the location of other servcies) no longer holds true?
Oops, still learning how to quote (blush)

I think perhaps Westfields are feeling this shift quite acutely, especially in Woden and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more shops that go down the tubes in the next couple of years. Malls are populated by large retail chains and with A&R, Borders and Colorado in recent times it would appear that the cracks are starting to appear in even the large organisations. Malls cannot be immune.

The de-democratisation of cities is an interesting issue on so many different levels. I remember reading an article on this thirty years ago where the author postulated that the corporate owners of malls were deciding what was an acceptable code of behaviour and that was guiding people’s perceptions on what is tolerable in society.

But of course you are commenting on the outcomes of corporate behaviour guiding planners. Perhaps one day planners will get it right but like families they just aim at stuffing it up less than the last generation and only succeed in stuffing it up again.

Ryoma 5:38 pm 28 Jun 11

Oops, still learning how to quote (blush)

Ryoma 5:34 pm 28 Jun 11

rosscoact said :

Ryoma said :

I’m thinking that woolies is more concerned with their share price tomorrow than generational shift. They pay off the establishment of teh supermarket in a very short timeframe. It’s the airport that’s making the capital investment and they only care about developing every spare square metre of ground.

I agree with your summation of what they’re after immediately by building this new centre, rosscoact. But I wonder if any of the firms investing millions of dollars around the country (and us as consumers, taxpayers and citizens) realise what may lie not all that far ahead?

What would most of the Westfields look like if they lost almost everything except women’s fashion and their food courts? If we think it cannot happen here, the USA has had plenty of malls go belly up in the past 5 years.

In turn, what will our cities look lie if everything that was once geared towards funnelling us towards these centres (roads, public transport, and the location of other servcies) no longer holds true?

pete09 5:15 pm 28 Jun 11

When the Majura freeway opens up, the entire bottleneck around Majura Park will be by-passed won’t it? There goes the convenience factor.

rosscoact 5:11 pm 28 Jun 11

Ryoma said :

So, what happens to all of these giant shopping centres when the generation to come is;
a) smaller than the one before it, and
b) more indebted and with less assets than the one before it?

Where do retailers think that growth is coming to come from at that point in time?

I’m thinking that woolies is more concerned with their share price tomorrow than generational shift. They pay off the establishment of teh supermarket in a very short timeframe. It’s the airport that’s making the capital investment and they only care about developing every spare square metre of ground.

Ryoma 5:03 pm 28 Jun 11

Here are the figures for average ages of various countries;

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2177.html

Ryoma 5:02 pm 28 Jun 11

I think that there is probably more to this than meets the eye on several fronts.

Whether or not Canberra becomes an international airport, there is nothing to stop an AQIS branch being set up there in future if both the government and the airport are serious about becoming a freight hub. Perhaps there is some sort of deal that includes an upgrade of Majura Avenue, etc, going on behind closed doors.

A bigger thing which makes me laugh is how the big firms in many of our industries are building in more and more marginal locations (marginal in both the geographic and financial sense). I’m sure the idea of building there simply so that the competition cannot is part of it, but has it ever crossed their minds that perhaps there is a limit on how much stuff we (either as Canberrans, or more broadly as Australians) can;

a) eat or drink in a given timeframe?
b) watch or play with in a given timeframe?
c) fill our houses with?

More than this, what happens when on-line shopping really takes off across a broader range of industries? You can now buy fridges and other large stuff on-line, and as Gerry Harvey and others have kindly informed everyone of, many other things are cheaper on-line, in part thanks to the strong $A.

Then there is the demographic shift. Harry Dent (Google him) says that peak spending in developed countries hits when the population’s average age is around 46. At this time, according to him, many people have teenagers needing all sorts of goods, they are still paying off a mortgage, trying to put more into super, they may be renovating, and so on,and so on. This may also near the peak earning age as well.

But Mr Dent states that not long afterwards, people’s spend starts to both fall overall, and to change direction. Less on goods, and more on holidays cruises, health care, and so on.

So, what happens to all of these giant shopping centres when the generation to come is;
a) smaller than the one before it, and
b) more indebted and with less assets than the one before it?

Where do retailers think that growth is coming to come from at that point in time?

p1 4:41 pm 28 Jun 11

MissChief said :

If, however, they put something different out there that isn’t anywhere else, well then…

I reckon that the Bland Depot building would have made an awesome gokart venue.

knuckles 4:35 pm 28 Jun 11

Mysteryman said :

There is one reason I go out to the airport precinct: to get on a plane, or pick someone up

That’s two reasons 🙂

dvaey 4:14 pm 28 Jun 11

qbngeek said :

I have already sorted my Costco Membership and my intention is to stop there on the way home from the farmers markets on a Saturday.

You might want to wait until theyre open.. you shouldve waited for that before you shelled out for membership, although at least you can still use your membership in Melbourne.

qbngeek 3:55 pm 28 Jun 11

I have already sorted my Costco Membership and my intention is to stop there on the way home from the farmers markets on a Saturday. It is not out of the way at all since I am driving in that area anyway and after my trip to Costco in Melbourne it looks like I will be saving more than a few bucks on my groceries.

Won’t go to Woolies however, if I can’t get it at the farmers markets or Costco I will continue to get it from IGA like I currently do. Costco will just be my replacement for Aldi.

Watson 3:45 pm 28 Jun 11

Maybe it would work in bigger cities where there may be a larger group of people who are willing and able to spend heaps of time finding out where they can buy the cheapest toilet paper or dandruff shampoo and travel all around town to knock a few dollars off their grocery bill. But most of the Canberra population is more concerned with convenience. We’ll go to Aldi if it’s on the way, but at the same time lots of us are still willing to pay higher prices for basic products at the local IGA because it’s easy.

So why on earth would we drive out to the airport for groceries?

thatsnotme 2:50 pm 28 Jun 11

I already have a local shopping precinct – it’s called Belconnen Mall, and it’s a whole lot easier to get to than the airport! It also has a Woolies and Dick Smith, although no Big W… On the other hand, it does have a K-Mart, Target, Myer, Coles, Aldi, Dan Murphy’s, and just a few other shops.

Is Costco really expected to be popular enough that it will pull enough punters to support other businesses out there?

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