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How global is the business of retail

Carolyn Cummins

British department store, Marks & Spencer is on the lookout for sites in Australia. Photo: Chris Ratcliffe

Australia will see the opening of at least another 10 new international retailers in the coming months, from food to fashion to homewares, according to agents and landlords.

The only hurdle will be finding the appropriate location and space. Most new entrants want to make a splash, so they scour the leading streets and malls across each capital city and suburb.

Some that have been looking include Marks & Spencer, Harvey Nichols, Hamley's Toys, Legoland, Eataly, Dean & Deluca and the jeweller Cartier. The tech giant Microsoft has already arrived in Pitt Street Mall, while Sony is looking at a range of sites in Sydney and Melbourne.

Alex Alamsyah, Knight Frank's senior director of retail leasing, said these international retailers have taken the lion's share in Pitt Street Mall.


"The coming year will be coloured by luxury retailers such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Panerai, Graff, Harry Winston, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, BCBG Max Azria, Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few," Mr Alamsyah said.

He said semi luxury goods such as COS by H&M, Massimo Dutti by Zara, Banana Republic by GAP, Agents Provocateur, Victoria's Secret and Tory Burch (potentially by Valiram Group) will also make their way over.

CBRE's senior manager for retail services, Zelman Ainsworth,said in Melbourne, Flinders Lane was gaining the attention of new eateries from all over the world.

"Flinders Lane

has evolved to become to hospitality operators what Collins Street is to luxury retailers. Landlords are becoming very creative in creating restaurant spaces within the back laneways of their buildings," Mr Ainsworth said.

According to CBRE's new How Global is the Business of Retail? report, retailer globalisation continued in 2014 as retail brands targeted a wide range of locations across the world. A total of 164 cities were surveyed and half saw at least five new retailers open a store.

Melbourne and Sydney remain the hottest cities in Australia for new retail entrants, ranking equal 39th with 12 new entrants, followed by Brisbane in 45th position with 11 new entrants.

Stephen McNabb, CBRE's head of research for Australia, said new analysis paints a favourable outlook for retail space demand.

"The survey shows how North American and European retailers are seeking further expansion beyond their home markets and that Australia is attracting its fair share of new retail entrants, in line with, if not higher, than our global economic weighting," Mr McNabb said.

Leif Olson, head of retail brokerage leasing, Australia, said globalisation of the retail sector was providing opportunities for retailers outside of saturated, mature markets.

"We have been fielding an unprecedented number of enquiries from international brands seeking to establish a foothold in Australia and gain an understanding of this market," Mr Olson said.

"CBRE has held national tours with a number of high profile retailers in recent months and are working on their rollout plans through Australia and New Zealand."

Category: Personal Finance

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