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Canberra’s Boutique Real Estate and Property Management

One mall to rule them all?

By johnboy 20 February 2013 16

The Economist has an article on the future of retailing.

It’s UK centric, but it rings true for what makes a pleasing shopping experience.

Shops must become “brand ambassadors”, complementing websites. That means keeping the whole range in stock, having good customer service and being sufficiently appealing that people will travel a long way to visit them.

According to Jonathan De Mello of CBRE, a real estate firm, this process is leading British retail to coalesce around a few large shopping centres, mostly in big city centres. Trinity Leeds will serve north Yorkshire, just as the revamped Bullring in Birmingham serves the West Midlands and the two large Westfield centres serve the east and west of London.

With the Apple Store and Zara choosing the Canberra Centre it seems logical that’s where the consolidation is headed in Canberra.

But what does it mean for the town centres that Canberra’s been built around? Knock down the malls and build more apartments?


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16 Responses to
One mall to rule them all?
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bigfeet 2:05 pm 21 Feb 13

poetix said :

Won’t we all be getting everything made by 3D copiers? Including the jetpacks we update on a weekly basis? .

My fourth grade school teacher assured me we would have ‘hover-cars’ by the time I was old enough to get my drivers licence. I got my learners permit 29 years ago…

If you are reading this Miss Quinn, .Where is my hover-car? You Promised!

poetix 12:22 pm 21 Feb 13

Won’t we all be getting everything made by 3D copiers? Including the jetpacks we update on a weekly basis?

Except of course for the Knitters, who cast off to create an alternative universe entirely based around the domestic arts.

DrKoresh 12:22 pm 21 Feb 13

johnboy said :

More sprawling than North Yorkshire?

No, but then again we’re a city, not a shire, people don’t want to have to drive for 30+ minutes in their own city just to buy some nice clothes and some new CDs. I’m not saying I have any qualifications to make certified statements about Australian shopping culture, but I wouldn’t be putting any money down on your prediction, JB. The UK is a strange and wonderful place, a bit like Narnia.

DrKoresh 12:07 pm 21 Feb 13

What’s that old saying? “An Apple store and a Zara does not a Mega-Mall make”?

Anyway, Canberra’s too sprawling for the Canberra Centre to cannibalise Tuggers, Woden and Belco; as long as we have the outer-south and outer-north there’ll always be a demand for malls in those areas.

fromthecapital 11:38 am 21 Feb 13

When I lived in the UK I much preferred high streets. Westfield was a crazy maze

Keijidosha 9:04 am 21 Feb 13

KB1971 said :

Since when did average people become bogans?

I wasn’t trying to stereotype everyone that shops at Westfield, just pointing out that while bogans continue to flock there en masse, suburban malls are in no danger of disappearing.

teddyhb 8:34 am 21 Feb 13

arescarti42 said :

This. The other thing the town centres have going for them is they’re more easily and cheaply accessible by car than the Canberra Centre.

Seems you havent been to Belconnen mall recently on a weekend? if you had you would know its quicker to drive to civic and park that to find a park in the malls car park.

HiddenDragon 10:11 pm 20 Feb 13

Interesting article although, as you say JB, it is UK-centric.

I think the key sentence is “Unlike the high street, shopping centres offer the plentiful floor space, cheap or free car-parking and easy access for delivery lorries that retailers want”, and the crucial phrase is “cheap or free car-parking”. Unless, or until, the long-awaited (by some) “oil shock” hits us, and people have little choice but to use what public transport is available, I reckon car-loving Canberrans would not be flocking to an even larger Canberra Centre which had cannibalised the town centre malls. It would just be too congested – unless Canberra is squeezed and cut, more than any of us would care to imagine, by a future Government – in which case, it is difficult to see anyone rushing to sink further large amounts of money into retail in this town.

arescarti42 8:13 pm 20 Feb 13

Keijidosha said :

It is probably safe to assume that Apple and Zara chose the Canberra Centre because it appeals to their upper-middle class demographic. Westfield are still attracting bogans like moths to a flame, so I doubt that juggernaut will lose momentum any time soon.

This. The other thing the town centres have going for them is they’re more easily and cheaply accessible by car than the Canberra Centre.

If Canberra’s suburban malls are killed off, I reckon the culprit will be the same thing that is killing them in the US, big box/supercentre stores and lifestyle centres.

KB1971 6:58 pm 20 Feb 13

Keijidosha said :

It is probably safe to assume that Apple and Zara chose the Canberra Centre because it appeals to their upper-middle class demographic. Westfield are still attracting bogans like moths to a flame, so I doubt that juggernaut will lose momentum any time soon.

Since when did average people become bogans?

farnarkler 6:25 pm 20 Feb 13

The future of retail in malls will be small shopfronts with a few demo items of whatever it is they sell. You’ll go in, try on (200 people might have tried on the piece of clothing you end up buying!!) or test the item. Once you’ve decided, you’ll pay for it and it will be delivered by mail in under a fortnight. The vendor will order from their supplier overseas. Everyone wins except the mall owners as the shops will be much smaller.

Solidarity 4:46 pm 20 Feb 13

Duffbowl said :

What will the kids do after school if they have no shopping mall to hang out at?

Won’t someone please think of the children?!

Sit inside texting each other.

Duffbowl 4:42 pm 20 Feb 13

What will the kids do after school if they have no shopping mall to hang out at?

Won’t someone please think of the children?!

Keijidosha 4:33 pm 20 Feb 13

It is probably safe to assume that Apple and Zara chose the Canberra Centre because it appeals to their upper-middle class demographic. Westfield are still attracting bogans like moths to a flame, so I doubt that juggernaut will lose momentum any time soon.

    johnboy 4:37 pm 20 Feb 13

    But you’ll always be able to order known quantity goods cheaper online than from a storefront.

    storefront retailing will need to be the realm of the new and exotic to survive.

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