In the past week I’ve read 2 articles about the state of retail in Brisbane. They referred to my local area of Wynnum and how retailing is dying. There’s absolutely no denying that retail is tough at the moment. That’s a given.
However these articles made heavy mention of the observations of the reporter walking around the streets during school holidays. He mentioned that tumble weeds would not be out of place as it was dead. Hello… first clue is the school holiday timing. Immediately alarm bells rang for me which suggested that perhaps we weren’t getting the most accurate observation.
Just as 2:45pm on a weekday is the best time to jag a front door carpark at your local Westfield (in case you aren’t aware- all the mums are in the school pick up que and not at the shops), school holidays in the streets of the local burbs are not the best indicator of general retail conditions. Given that it’s the first of the warm weather holiday periods- September, heaps of people have gone away or are doing summery types of things like day trips to the coasts etc.
Let’s do a quick teleport up to Hastings Street Noosa at the same time period. I know that street would have been humming as it’s a premium holiday destination. And yes, I’m sure that Hastings St’s overall retail stats have dropped. However the past 2 weeks there would have looked very different to their normal Monday to Friday pre school holidays.
The point I’m making is that if you want to gauge a situation accurately look at it under normal conditions not in an extreme condition.
The article followed on with a couple of retail experts offering their opinion of retail in the future for the burbs. They cited that foodies and gyms will become more popular. Yes, we are seeing the rise of both of those industries filling retail tenancies. However the other thing I’m noticing is a glut of residential apartments being constructed in the burbs. Like or loathe them they will eventually fill with residents and with that will come the demand for more local retail and it won’t just be for foodies and gyms. People will want other types of retail.
After nearly 30yrs in the retail industry I’ve now seen the circle and it’s now coming around again.