15/05/2013 - 15:39

Retail giants plan Perth presence

15/05/2013 - 15:39


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US home ware retailer Williams-Sonoma is understood to have chosen Perth as the location for its third Australian store amid a growing number of international retail giants coming west.

Williams-Sonoma is expected to move into the former Borders bookstore site at 625-635 Murray Street.

The opening is part of the company’s Australian expansion, which was launched with its maiden Asia-Pacific store in Sydney last week, and followed up with an announcement that a second store was planned for Melbourne’s Chapel Street retail strip.

The San Francisco-founded chain opted to open its first international store (outside of the US and Canada) in Australia instead of a European location, with London expected to have got the nod.

Williams-Sonoma’s entrance into the WA market follows a trend of international retailers setting up bricks-and-mortar stores in Perth, with Spanish retailer Zara’s plans for a store confirmed last week.

It has submitted an application with the City of Perth for a $5 million development of a new two-storey building and an additional storey to an existing building in Murray Street.

It will be the chain’s ninth store in Australia.

UK fashion chain Topshop is also understood to be in negotiations with Carillon City landlord Hawaiian about leasing three levels in the Central City Arcade.

Hawaiian declined to comment but did not deny negotiations were in progress.

Meanwhile, Swedish brand H&M has done little to hose down speculation it intends to open a store in Perth, with its Facebook page announcing in March that its first Australian store would open in 2014.

The initial stores are understandably pitched for Melbourne and Sydney, but the chain is reportedly planning an expansion of 10 stores across Australia.

The entrance of the retail giants is a somewhat-delayed response to Western Australia’s booming economy, compared to the early moves made by some international luxury brands.

New York jeweller Tiffany & Co set up shop in Perth’s King Street back in 2008 as part of the city’s maiden top end retail precinct, which also houses brands such as Prada and Gucci.

French label Daniel Hechter has been the most recent addition to Perth’s fashion fabric with the opening of its first Australian store on St Georges Terrace last month.


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