Luxury brands buying in to Perth

30/10/2007 - 22:00

Their stores occupy some of the most exclusive real estate in the world, but with retail spending at an all-time high in Western Australia, luxury brands such as Versace, Tiffany & Co, Chanel and La Perla are suddenly taking notice of Perth.

Luxury brands buying in to Perth

Their stores occupy some of the most exclusive real estate in the world, but with retail spending at an all-time high in Western Australia, luxury brands such as Versace, Tiffany & Co, Chanel and La Perla are suddenly taking notice of Perth.

And their timing couldn’t be better, given the Perth CBD retail scene is booming off the back of new office developments and the rising popularity of inner-city living, adding about 50,000 square metres of new retail accommodation to supply over the next three years.

Colliers International associate director retail leasing, Richard Cash, said he had recently spoken to Italian fashion house Versace about a tenancy on Hay Street, close to fellow luxury fashion retailer Hugo Boss.

Mr Cash is currently on a road show to Melbourne and Sydney, promoting the 140 William Street project, under construction above the new underground train station.

Breaking with Perth’s traditional mall, the 7,000sq m retail precinct will be arranged around a series of laneways and public squares.

“The interest in Perth is incredible. National and international fashion retailers are extremely keen on Perth but they first have to get that economy of scale to make it work,” Mr Cash said.

With the retail space expected to come online at 140 William Street in early 2010, Mr Cash said many prospective Perth retailers were penciling in the move as part of their national expansion plans.

While a fashionable King Street address alongside Gucci is believed to be on the shopping list for Tiffany & Co and Chanel, many high-end retailers are understood to be signing up to the Century City project between St Georges Terrace and the Hay Street Mall.

The mixed-use office and retail complex has the largest retail offering of all the new CBD developments, with up to 13,000sq m of fashion and food retailing space over four floors, anchored by supermarket giant Woolworths.

Due in April 2009, the project is being developed by Pivot Group and ISPT and will house up to 3,000 office workers accommodated over 17 levels.

Besides injecting more variety into Perth’s retail mix, it’s expected the Raine Square, 140 William Street, Wesley Arcade, and GPO building developments will change the way shoppers move throughout the city.

Currently, shopper traffic flows primarily east-west along Murray and Hay streets, including the malls, but the new developments are likely to encourage a more north-south flow down King and William streets.

Previously known as a bridal retailing hub, Raine Square will become the new home of BankWest in 2010, with about 10,000sq m of new retail space connected to the new William Street underground train station.

A further 1,301sq m of retail space will be provided in the refurbished GPO building, which will connect to the eastern side of 140 William Street in early 2010.

GPO leasing agent and CB Richard Ellis associate director of retail services, Fred Clohessy, said the project was attracting significant interest because of its heritage qualities and proximity to the train station.

Mr Clohessy said it was not targeting high-end Tiffany-type retailers for the project, but would soon announce the signing of quality food and fashion retailers new to the CBD.

“Two of the parties we’re speaking to are not in WA at the moment. Some are taking more than one shop, which is fantastic,” he told WA Business News.

Australia Post has already secured two units at ground level.

While also responsible for leasing Raine Square, Mr Clohessy said he had fielded interest from several prospective tenants with stores in Claremont and Subiaco that wanted either to relocate or open their second or third WA stores in the CBD.

Also on the hunt for new retail tenants is the Wesley Quarter project, which will provide about 3,500sq m of retail and alfresco dining space within the revamped Wesley Arcade when complete in 2008

Other projects expected to add to Perth’s retailing scene include Capital Square on the former Emu Brewery site, providing about 10,000sq m of retail/commercial space by 2011, Bishops See and City Square.

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