Sunday 12 June 2016

Are You Ready For Renewal?

QVM renewal so far lacks detail but that is expected to change sometime next month with the announcement of the initial stage(s).

Whilst we don’t have detail just yet it may pay to get into a mindset that is ready to evaluate the possibility of change in our retail environment. This week’s retail news contains a number of trends that may be relevant for us.

Convenience – Woolworths are planning to expand their range of Metro convenience stores. The stores are based on a 600 sqm footprint, located near public transport and focus on grab’n’go solutions and ready-made meal offers for today’s consumer. As QVM becomes the centre of the huge growth in apartments at the northern end of the city, how will this trend impact on us?

Retail Growth – A report in Inside Retailing last week suggests that slow retail growth is here to stay. Household incomes have been rising at around half the rate of the preceding 20 years. Hours worked and hourly rates are both looking rather weak and are not expected to pick up until there is strong employment growth somewhere in the economy. Just what will replace the mining sector for job growth is not clear.

Nightime Economy – the City of Melbourne is trumpeting its night time economy and particularly the rise of food (and the fall of alcohol). More activity over longer hours appears to be the mantra here.

Transport Trends – Construction of the new metro rail system and CBD underground stations are going to cause significant disruption around Melbourne streets over the next 10 years but nobody seems too concerned about the relevance of cars and parking. Quite clearly we are heading for a green clean city based on public transport using alternative energy sources.

Big Data - The advertising hype from retailers like David Jones and Myer seems to have gone a little quiet over recent times and apparently that is because they are concentrating on understanding more about their current customers and engaging with then in different ways - social media, email, websites, in-store contact, apps, loyalty cards, etc. etc. Knowing what your customers are doing and how to connect with them is a whole new field of retailing endeavour.