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Shopping centres employ one in 20

SHOPPING centres in WA generate one in 20 jobs, a new economic impact study by retail consultants Jebb Holland Dim-asi has found.

The study shows shopping centres provide employment for 48,300 people or 5.4 per cent of WA’s workforce.

Collectively, the people who work in shopping centres earn just under $900 million a year in wages.

The survey is part of a national survey of the economic impact of shopping centres commissioned by the Shopping Centre Council of Australia.

Apart from employment, the study shows the 126 shopping centres used every day by West-ern Australians generate retail sales of $5.47 billion – 41.8 per cent of all WA retail sales.

The remaining 58 per cent of retail sales were recorded by CBD stores, traditional strip retailers and free-standing retail outlets.

Shopping centres provide a platform for 4,408 retail shops occupying floorspace totalling 1.3 million square metres.

In WA, they represent a capital investment of $3.1 billion with a further $400 million expected to be spent in development over the next five years.

The centres contribute $1.56 billion to Gross State Product, about 3 per cent of the total.

Shopping Centre Council executive director Duncan Fair-weather said an interesting aspect of the study was the importance of the industry to small business and individual Western Australians.

“For example, of the 4,206 specialty shops located in centres, 2,217, or 53 per cent of them, are independent traders,” Mr Fairweather said.

“This shows the strength and importance of independent retailers – many of them family owned and run – within the state’s shopping centres.

“A further 243 shops or 6 per cent are franchise operations.”

Smaller supermarket-based and neighbourhood shopping centres accounted for 69 per cent of shopping centre retail sales.

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