RETAILERS will be hoping the latest cut in interest rates gives the sector a kick-start before Christmas.
But many are resigned to the fact that discounting, which has already started, will continue to be a feature of the landscape.
According to real estate analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, landlords such as Westfield Group should benefit from any improvement in Australian retail sentiment following rate cuts.
”We see there is the potential for Australian retail investors to begin investing in the Australian real estate investment trust, retail sector again after several years of net outflows,” the analysts said.
The cut in rates came on the eve of the Sydney opening of British chain Topshop Topman.
Almost four years after making its first approach to agents for an appropriate site in Sydney, the label, which has model Kate Moss as its face, opened on the corner of Market and George streets.
It occupies the basement, ground and first two floors of what was the Gowings store. The site has been redeveloped by new boutique QT Hotel, which itself opened only a month ago.
Initially, agents touted the opposite corner, the Commonwealth Bank site, but that was deemed too far from the core retail strip. International retailers have long fancied entering Australia but have been hindered by the lack of available sites. They wanted to make a splash on entry with well-located and large flagship sites.
Until the development of Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall, Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne and key suburban malls in both states, there was nothing to entice them to the country. The high dollar and price differences ran a far second to location. However, upgrades in central business districts and regional malls have provided the necessary incentive.
The new site is Topshop’s second store in Australia after it opened last year in Melbourne at the Jam Factory retail centre in Chapel Street, South Yarra.
Topshop’s opening on Thursday was met with hysteria similar to what accompanied the opening of Spanish fashion label Zara’s store at Westfield Sydney, Pitt Street Mall, 18 months ago.
The label is focused on 14- to 30-year-olds but the clothes are considered inter-generational.
It is one the biggest labels in Britain in the middle-price range and will give Australian labels such as Portmans and Witchery some tough competition.
With the success of Zara and the anticipated rush for Topshop, property representatives of other labels are making regular trips to view potential Australian real estate.
It has been said the next big name to open will be Japanese fashion label Uniqlo, which has been looking at the soon-to-be-developed 363 George Street building and ground-floor retail in Sydney, the Commonwealth Bank chamber at 120 Pitt Street/5 Martin Place in Sydney and the under-construction Emporium Melbourne.
Department store H&M is said to be keen on a spot along Pitt Street Mall if one becomes available, while Forever 21 and the Gap associate Banana Republic are also said to be potential entrants when the retail sector improves.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.