10/09/2009 - 00:00

Retail rethink for top-end fashion

10/09/2009 - 00:00

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THE introduction of new retail space in Perth's CBD has afforded high-end fashion retailers the opportunity to establish a Western Australian presence.

Retail rethink for top-end fashion

THE introduction of new retail space in Perth's CBD has afforded high-end fashion retailers the opportunity to establish a Western Australian presence.

Top-end brands have traditionally been located in the King Street fashion district, but with new retail developments coming online, prestige brands are taking the opportunity to establish a retail presence elsewhere in the city.

French luggage specialist Louis Vuitton was the first prestige high-fashion brand in Perth, when it entered its King Street premises in 2002.

Italian leather goods and fashion retailer Gucci moved to King Street in 2006, followed by international diamond brokers Tiffany and Co and fashion brands Bally and Hugo Boss.

Now it seems other high-end brands that want a slice of the Perth pie are not restricting themselves to King Street.

At the $130 million Wesley Quarter, global brands Burberry and Emporio Armani have opened their first Perth stores, joining Karen Millen, Paul & Joe Sister, Alannah Hill, Metalicus, Review, Jan Logan, Wittners Shoes and Eyedonist.

At the recently opened enex100, prestige brands Napolean Perdis, French Connection and Calvin Klein Jeans have taken up residence among fellow fashion retailers Marcs and Calibre.

Colliers International retail leasing associate director Peter Millard, who handles retail leasing at one40william, said a number of top-end brands had been waiting for an opportunity to establish their presence in WA.

"Those retailers have had WA on their radar for the past two or three years and they've finally made the move," Mr Millard told WA Business News.

"one40william, the Wesley Quarter and enex100 have given the opportunity for national retailers to find the space that wasn't available before.

"Some of the retailers already have concessionary stores in David Jones, or Myer, and they've been monitoring those sales for a while to justify the move into a large store.

"It's certainly given a more sophisticated approach to Perth CBD retail, which wasn't there before."

Mr Millard added the influx of top brands was a reflection of the strength of the WA economy, and the affluence of WA consumers.

A lack of available space in the last three years had led to top brands establishing flagship stores at suburban shopping centres such as Garden City and Karrinyup, Mr Millard said

"Now they have an opportunity to do what they normally do, which is open in the CBD first," he said.

Mr Millard said because high-end retailers could create demand from other stores who want to lease areas close to the prestige brands it was highly important for a leasing agent to sign up a top-flight client.

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