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Retail Experts Reveal Biggest Challenges and Opportunities Facing Developers in 2016

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In a rare and exclusive event, three of Australia’s leading retail minds will converge to share their thoughts on the biggest factors shaping retail development and investment in 2016. Join us and hear directly from these experts in The Forces Driving Retail in 2016; Demographics, Digital, Dining and Development. To be held on Thursday 14 April in partnership with Coco Republic, the presentations are an essential resource for investors, developers and professionals alike, and will provide a breakdown of the key trends, disruptive technologies, behavioural changes and market factors shaping the future of retail. Click here to register your tickets.

 
1) What is the biggest challenge facing retailers in Australia at the moment?

Tony Dimasi / Macroplan;

For non-food retailers, especially fashion, it is all about how to remain relevant, let alone appealing, against an ever increasing range of very powerful global competitors. For all other retailers, it is all about how to maintain a fair share of the household budget, given the rising cost of non-retail “essentials” such as housing, utilities, health, education and transport.

 

Francis Loughran / Future Food;

From a F&B perspective, the speed of change is rapid. Food operators want to target certain customer groups, but many do not understand the philosophy of multi-channelling; the “omni-channel” approach is new to them. Other challenges are establishing a customer-centric philosophy and being able to deliver it at each touch point in the food and hospitality sequence of service. Also, the ability to adapt to changing markets – being able to offer casual, smart casual or fine casual service as required and at the correct price point.

 

Matthew Creagh / Marquette Properties;

Aside from the usual challenges facing any retailer in Australia, I think in 2016 they will be forced to deal with global uncertainty and wary consumers. 2015 was a sluggish year and there is no doubt that retail will be in the firing line this year if the Australian economy softens which many are predicting it will. Europe has humanitarian and economic challenges as we know, the Australian federal election in July is going to create uncertainty, China’s currency is under pressure and their economy continues to slow and Donald Trump is working his way to the White House! I think the global economy has a number of interesting challenges this year and retailers tend to suffer in uncertain times.

  
2) Where has digital technology provided the greatest opportunity?

Tony Dimasi / Macroplan;

To tap into consumers’ minds and better understand their needs and wants. But it’s a double-edged sword, because the technology has given consumers far more power than it has provided to retailers.

 

Francis Loughran / Future Food;

The food and hospitality sectors have been shown to embrace the use of digital technology, but it is now incumbent upon them to use this to the customer’s benefit when it comes to ordering food and making reservations. Examples such as Deliveryhero, Deliveroo and Uber’s proposed delivery service are musts to watch.

 

Matthew Creagh / Marquette Properties;

The greatest opportunity in the advancement of digital technology is connectivity to consumers. Being able to connect with people more easily gets you in the game, whether you keep a customer is down to your product, customer service and how well you use the data available to you.  

  
3) How has the growth of Brisbane, notably development within the inner city, changed the retail landscape?

Tony Dimasi / Macroplan;

New development has increased demand for a more urban, rather than sub-urban, retail offering which is best exemplified by Queen’s Plaza (CBD) at one end of the spectrum and Gasworks Plaza (Newstead) at the other.

 

Francis Loughran / Future Food;

Today’s CBD resident has totally different need states for food and hospitality than the traditional suburban customer; the need for social contact is great. In the 21st century the emphasis on and need for human interaction on city street is as great as ever. Therefore, the demand for food and social spaces offering food is greater than ever before. The City has regained it glory as the “place to come and see what’s new” and to shop. Today’s new Australians are no longer living in a quarter acre block, the City is their playground to meet friends and family – using food as the social glue.

 

Matthew Creagh / Marquette Properties;

The retail landscape in Brisbane has and will continue to change for the better. The increase in density and growth in inner city living has meant the emergence of more high streets and vibrant precincts. There are now multiple destinations in the inner city that have an identity which is exciting. The drawback is the fact that the retail landscape is being dictated by the projects it sits beneath. The fragmented retail ownership also means these precincts evolve much more slowly than they should.   

For the chance to hear directly from Tony, Francis and Matthew, register now. Tickets are limited. 

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Article originally posted at: https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/three-retail-experts-reveal-biggest-challenges-and-opportunities-facing-developers-in-2016