Have you ever been to Balmain in the inner city of Sydney? Or have you been down a suburban shopping strip in your capital city? If you have you will know that something has changed over the years.

Did you call me a mall rat? Pic: Supplied

Even when walking down the shopping strip in your local town centre you are bound to have seen some changes. More often than not you will find that places like Balmain or your own local town centre are not as vibrant as they used to be.

There may be more vacant shops or the shops may be looking tired or run down which all makes the shopping strip less appealing. Some town centres may even be attracting gangs of youths or the graffiti artists which may all detract from the shopping strip.

All in all, the shopping strip at the heart of your town centre may be suffering from a range of problems which is causing the strip’s demise.

Leaving aside the potential for anti-social behaviour by bored youths, the high street shopping strip is facing even more dangerous challenges. How it meets those challenges will be critical to whether or not the high street shopping strip survives.

Here Balmain provides a microcosm of the Australian high street shopping strip. It has an extended shopping strip which is a short bus or ferry trip from the city.

The area is generally well known with an eclectic mix of shops. It is very much part of the fabric of Sydney having been the home of former NSW Premiers and the Balmain Tigers, a founding member of the NSW rugby league competition. More recently, leading pastry chef Adriano Zumbo has brought new culinary delights to the area.

Despite all these advantages the Balmain shopping strip is coming under increasing stress. The strip is still a great place to visit but its vibrancy, like many other high street shopping strips, is being threatened by a number of things.

First, there is the ever present parking meter and council parking officer ready to issue a parking infringement. Now there’s no doubt that the mere mention of parking meters and parking infringements is likely to get some people agitated. If you have received a parking infringement notice you will obviously know that annoying feeling of finding a notice left on your car.

If you break the parking rules then you should not be surprised to be hit with an infringement notice. End of story some might say. Well, not so fast. Let’s think about whether the parking rules are justified in the first place. Naturally, there may safety issues with, for example, `no stopping’ zones, but generally street parking offences are not like other offences designed to try and stop injury to property or person.

With street parking offences you have a body, typically a local council, imposing restrictions on parking and enforcing those restrictions with fines. Along the way the body may also impose a fee for parking in the area. The problem is that fees for parking along the shopping strip work to discourage customers from shopping along the strip.

That’s what happening in Balmain and no doubt in shopping strips around the country. In Balmain you may get 15 minutes free parking but then you have to pay for parking. Why would shoppers pay for parking along Balmain’s shopping strip when they can go to nearby major shopping centres where they can get two or three hours free parking or don’t have to pay at all for parking?

So the point is simple. A local council’s desire to impose parking fees along its shopping strip may have significant unintended adverse consequences such as discouraging shoppers and undermining the strip’s viability.

There’s no point in the local council tying to raise revenue through parking fees if that leads to vacant shops in their shopping strip or town centre. Vacant shops, as any major shopping centre landlord will tell you, have a very negative effect on customers’ perception of the shopping venue.

For local councils vacant shops along the shopping strip or town centre lead to other problems such as graffiti and vandalism of vacant shop fronts further adding to the negative perceptions of the town centre and the local area.

Local councils should be doing everything possible to encourage shoppers to keep returning to the shopping strip including providing up to two or three hours free parking and exploring ways to provide longer periods of free parking if shoppers spend more than, for example, $100 in stores on the shopping strip.

In the absence of extended periods of free parking, customers are increasingly likely to go to a nearby major shopping centre which further undermines the vibrancy of the high street shopping strip.

Here there’s no doubt that the rise of major shopping centres and other `big box’ developments has presented a major threat to shopping strips or town centres around Australia. Local councils and State Governments must take some of the blame for allowing major shopping centres to effectively become local retail monopolies with shoppers forced into those shopping centres by increasingly draconian street parking fees and infringement notices.

In Balmain the threat from major shopping centres is a growing one and will only get worse as the former grand club house of the Balmain Tigers rugby league team is being pursued as a major retail development that will bring more of the big brand retailers to Balmain and you guessed it, with a few hours of free parking.

The free parking will drive shoppers into the big retail development and the two or three-hour free parking limit will keep them in the development leaving no time to visit the shopping strip or town centre.

Naturally, the retail development will be sold as bringing `more retail competition’ to Balmain, but that so-called retail competition will be nothing more than those big brand retailers who are increasingly cutting the range of brands they stock and raising prices whenever they can.

So, the suggestion of `more’ competition will soon be found to be a smokescreen for the further undermining of the Balmain shopping strip, especially as more and more stores on the shopping strip go out of business.

If that wasn’t enough of a threat to the Balmain shopping strip, there’s always the risk of Balmain retail landlords raising rents to small businesses along the strip. We often hear suggestions about large shopping centre landlords trying to push retail rents to unsustainable levels, but we shouldn’t forget about small scale landlords who could have the same urges.

Unless retail landlords resist any urge to squeeze unsustainable rent increases out of their retail tenants, the landlords will find that their premises will be hard to rent and remain vacant for longer periods.

A lower realistic and sustainable retail rent with a successful business operating from the premises is always far preferable to trying to seek a higher unsustainable rent and having the premises vacant. That’s obviously a lesson for both large and small landlords.

With the growing threat to the Balmain shopping strip and other town centres like it around the country all of us should make a greater effort to regularly visit those shopping strips before they’re gone or changed forever.

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40 comments

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    • Sherlock says:

      05:50am | 23/05/12

      So the answer to the decline of the local shopping strips is free parking. Who would have thought the answer is so obvious?

      Although it doesn;t seem to have helped those shopping strips with car parks that offer extended free parking. Have a look at the empty shops in Crows Nest for example. There are four council carparks in easy walking distance that offer 2 hours free parking yet that doesn’t have seemed to work in one of the wealthiest districts in Sydney.

      Metered parking is designed to make traffic flow in areas where there are only a limited number of parking spots. It prevents business owners and employees from parking there for extended periods and opens the spaces for shoppers. While offering extended street parking may solve some of the problem it will create new ones of it’s own.

      The decline of the local shopping strip is a complicated issue and won’t be answered by overly simplistic solutions such as more parking.

      Retailers on the strip need to band together and create an atmosphere that make shoppers want to go there. Until that happens nothing will change

    • MarkF says:

      08:15am | 23/05/12

      Totally disagree.  I can go to the burbs and find a park close to the shops easily, or I can go downtown and circle for an hour just to try and find one within half an hour walking distance.  Bugger all public transport available and taxis are too expensive.  So tell me why I would want the inconvenience to going downtown unless there is a business there that I can’t get in the suburbs?

      It might be ok if you live in a capital city with the overabundance of public transport but anywhere else its a joke.  When we go shopping the center of town is the last place we think of or go to.

    • Nathan says:

      05:59am | 23/05/12

      Or people prefer to go to shopping centres where they know they can get everything in one place and parking is only a side issue.

    • Emma says:

      09:23am | 23/05/12

      Thats if you need to buy something. But for a lot of people a day “shopping” is a quality day, spent with your best friend, exchanging gossip while checking out new arrivals in the stores. What some cities and their shopping strips lack in my view is the experience bit. Nice street cafes where you can sit down in the sun, refuel, chat, observe the crowd. Usually pedestrian only, but parking options closish by. Nice restaurants for after, cinemas, etc. A lot of people dont come into the city every day. So they make it a full day and want to get fun out of it.

    • acotrel says:

      09:40am | 23/05/12

      I wonder when we will get ‘park and ride’ combined with multi-story car parks and big shopping centres. In Victoria most of the Mornington Peninsula traffic drives past Frankston to the Melbourne CBD.  And it’s the same on every other suburban train line, and we have minimal buses operating on our main highways.

    • PTom says:

      03:20pm | 23/05/12

      Actual I was thinking about this the other day if councils/landlords actual wanted to create great shopping strips how about trying to encourage one type of trade to that strip like the Parramatta for car yards, Flemington for the Fresh food markets, Leichhardt for Italian, Ashfield for Shanghi food, Cabarrmatta for Vietnamese and Harris Park for Indian.

      That way if you know what you are after you go that suburb strip.

    • Onlooker says:

      07:14am | 23/05/12

      Try walking down Hunter Street in Newcastle, it looks like something from a third world country, The Newcastle City Council should be sacked. Dirty unkept, graffiti covered buildings that put every Novocastrian to shame. And they have the hide to charge for parking!! Why would anyone want to go there?

    • craig2 says:

      07:49am | 23/05/12

      Dunno, lets ask Wayne Bennent that question, i’m sure he’s loving every minute in Newcastle!

    • CrapCastle says:

      10:06pm | 23/05/12

      The only reason people go to Newcastle is to feel better about their miserable lives.

    • Kipling says:

      07:43am | 23/05/12

      I would think the large shopping centre’s and developers should shoulder the majority of the blame. Of course, that said, Councils are responsible for approvals and building permits.
      It’s all about the economy so a few isolated shop keepers are pretty much collateral damage if a Corporate interest can slip a big centre in (ironically being on the Central Coast, we have a few LARGE shopping centres to choose from and not much in the way of strips).

    • SAm says:

      08:09am | 23/05/12

      well Gosford has a strip…that is virtually deserted. Given theres approximately 15 car spaces to park on in the main road, no bloody wonder (and whos going to that carpark way out of the way anyway?)

    • Potato says:

      08:38am | 23/05/12

      A huge part of the problem is people’s unwillingness to change their ideas about town centres.  Gosford (and most other main street shopping areas) will never be able to compete with the likes of Lendlease and Westfield.  In many cases, a lot of the ‘big brands’ simply can’t trade from existing shopping areas anyway (for reasons as simple as access to loading areas, shop floor area sizes and required storage, for example - and thats despite the amount of pedestrian traffic they want to pass by…)

      Main streets have to re-invent themselves.  They need to look to see what they can become - entertainment districts, professional services, art hubs, education precincts…..  look at areas like Darby St (Cooks Hill, Newcastle),  Gouger St (Adelaide) which are booming and always busy, despite being only ten minutes drive to other ‘shopping centres’.

      The problem is convincing people that change can be successful, mostly what we get is arguments about minor reasons why centres are failing.  How many times have we heard arguments about grafffiti, lack of public toilets or (like this article) parking….. as if changing any on (or all) of those things will magically make these town centres come back to life….

    • M says:

      11:24am | 23/05/12

      Gosford (the whole central coast actually) needs to sort out it’s youth employment issues first before you can begin looking at spicing up the town centre.

      Most people I went to school with are working either in Sydney or Newcastle, simply because they can’t find jobs on the coast.

    • Potato says:

      12:13pm | 23/05/12

      M,

      Spicing up the town centres is PART of solving the youth unemployment on the Central Coast.

      At the moment, unemployment on the Central Coast sits at 8.5% (its 3.5% just up the road in the lower hunter and just under 4% average in the State). there is 33% youth unemployment in Gosford, with 40% in north of Wyong Shire.  At the same time 38,000 people commute outside the region (mainly to Sydney) for work each day - such is the lack of employment opportunities.

      The only way to reverse this trend is to provide more employment on the Central Coast, and part of this is ‘spicing up’ CBD areas. 

      At the same time we are having this discussion, the Workcover Office in Gosford is announcing that around 150 staff will be cut (moving to Sydney). In addition, there are rumours around that a couple of other big employers will soon be closing doors/moving out. Gosford CBD is in decline, and if you are resident on the coast you know that this is certainly not news - its been like that since I was in nappies..

      We DESPERATELY need to start improving CBD areas - for those that know the Coast, this is what The Landing project is about. Gosford has never successfully attracted a major development project, employer or other activity with any type of benefits since the 1960’s.   

      You cant improve employment without improving business/investment - at the moment (and for the past 30 years) the Central Coast has been going backwards. Gosford CBD has got itself to such a state that noone is interested in even trying any development.  Its just too hard, with too much objection, too little vision and too much small town thinking.

    • M says:

      01:23pm | 23/05/12

      Potato, I fully believe that the central coast region needs more heavy industry/manufacturing in order to stimulate the economy. Give the blue collar boys work, and the rest will follow to service them. There’s no point in getting business into the CBD if there are no customers with disposable income to spend.

      Sadly, you are right about the small town mentality thing, I was glad to leave, it’s a backwards little place sometimes.

    • Former Central Coastian says:

      06:54pm | 23/05/12

      I remember Gosford of 20 years ago having a cinema, a decent main street, a rollerskating ring (Froggys!) and a handful of small but successful shopping centres.  One by one, they all disappeared.  I remember when McDonalds closed down in Marketplace and thinking it was a sign that Gosford was dead. 

      Now it’s just a football ground, a (substandard) leagues club and a gathering place for bogans who haunt Kibble Park and the train station. 

      The local theory I heard was that Gosford was too physically closed in to redevelop further, with hills and a railway line blocking development in the CBD but surely it also has a lot to do with everyone who lives there commuting to Sydney to work because there aren’t any jobs.  After doing 8-10 hour days with an additional 4 hours a day with Shittyrail, the last thing you want to do on the weekends is walk around a ghost town CBD!  (It’s far easier to go to Westfield at Tuggerah, find what you need easily and sink into a nice cup of coffee). 

      Bring in some decent-paying jobs, perhaps a public service that extends beyond the crap ones nobody wants to work for (like Centrelink and Medicare - no offence to anyone that works there, but you have to agree that working for Centrelink in Gosford or Ettalong would be awful) and stop the smart talented kids who grew up on the Central Coast haemorrhaging out to Sydney, interstate and overseas.

      While you’re at it, ditch the snails-pace speed limits and bring back the cinema.

    • Reality Bites says:

      07:50am | 23/05/12

      Balmain is a very bad case study for this argument, Mr Zumbo:

      1. Balmain is one of the wealthiest areas is Sydney. Of course rents will be high. The type of retailers that can afford them are not the type which encourage “vibrancy.’” Quite the reverse, they’re expensive restaurants and high priced frock shops.

      2. “Vibrancy” (read noise, traffic, activity) is also actively discouraged by a noisy Nimby minority in Balmain and the Council they control. Leichhardt has the slowest DA processing record in the State. it is using its bureaucracy to discourage the business activity that annoys its core green activists.

      3. It is also routinely hostile to all development. In fact, it spends large amounts of hits rate payer’s money on active so-called “anti-development” campaigns (actually political, and aimed at both Labor or Liberal, whichever is in power). In that it has been highly successful, it has killed Darling St.

      4. Balmain’s local Council is (and this will be no surprise) controlled by the Greens, who are trying to discourage car use. Parking meters and aggressive policing are not just excellent revenue raising methods, they’re a “carbon tax.’” They haven’t got the residents of Balmain out of their luxury SUVs, far from it, its streets are more congested than ever – but they have successfully driven them off the peninsula and into the hands the shopping centre operators at Leichhardt, Broadway and Birkenhead.

      And lastly, I would dispute the central suggestion that local councils have a role in supporting one form of capitalism over another. Why?

    • Daylight robbery says:

      12:22pm | 23/05/12

      “controlled by the Greens, who are trying to discourage car use. Parking meters and aggressive policing are not just excellent revenue raising methods, they’re a “carbon tax.’”

      Sounds like Fremantle in WA. Shrinking parking bay sizes to prevent the highly fuel efficient diesel engines in modern 4WDs.  Populist Green politics doing nothing for their local retailers. Vulchers hanging over parking meters waiting for the meter to hit time extinction.

      Youll be happy to know Ive seen the resulting business model of this.  In the UK people moved to online purchases. Shopping centres the big blocks you discuss hold a number of empty windows with for lease signs on them.

      Large retailers build their own smaller shopping centre with its own car park where no other boutique stores can reside.  You walk in to see the BIGW model combined with Woolworths.
      You can get everything cheap in one place and the council is shut out.  The rest of brick retail in that region hence the poor performing non-manufacturing economies of Europe.
      It was said the other day Sydney has the highest rent second only to New York which has substantially a higher customer base.
      Commercial retail landlords especially the giant box shop centre in Australia have been robbing retailers to kill the golden goose and they wont get it back.

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:55am | 23/05/12

      I haven’t been to Balmain since 2001. I parked there for less than 30 minutes and got a fine.

      I don’t see the point in going back if they are going to make it difficult for me to do anything.

      Councils should focus on putting free parking on just about every block by building underground parking stations. This should include the CBD. Then the state government can build more roads to ease congestion.

      It might mean we can get out and about rather than being confined to a 20 minute walk from where we live (except for when we go to work on a train/bus).

    • Emma says:

      09:28am | 23/05/12

      Sorry to ask a stupid questions, but what about the concept if paying for parking and getting the money reimbursed by the local stores when you buy something? Thats how I know it from Europe and it works quite well? I think its a fair deal.

    • RANK FRANK says:

      07:54am | 23/05/12

      Yes I agree .
      Have been envolved with many (20 or more) urban renewal projects in
      Suburban Brisbane.
      They need to made - different and interesting and have strong support from
      the local businesses and community. Vacancies are terminal.
      Slow the traffic , let cars park anywhere a la Europe , some good
      outdoor cafes and thoughtful landscaping and you are almost there!
      The typical Westfield is repititious and controlled dare I say boring with
      ‘Ned Kelly’ rents.

    • subotic says:

      08:07am | 23/05/12

      WALMART, where are you?

    • Daylight robbery says:

      01:06pm | 23/05/12

      ASDA is the business model discussed in the above post Subotic.

    • Sheldon says:

      08:24am | 23/05/12

      I guess that’s why Bradfield wanted a train station there. But if they tried it today then Im sure NIMBYS would complain about it.

    • Inky says:

      08:32am | 23/05/12

      Free parking?

      Yeah, I’ll just keep shopping online, where all my parking is free and so is half of my deliveries.

    • Eskimo says:

      08:38am | 23/05/12

      My local shopping strip, Mornington, is very vibrant. This due to the foresight of the local council to provide plenty of free parking either side of Main St, with ‘ring roads’ taking you straight to the parking without having to drive down Main Street itself.

    • Chris says:

      08:45am | 23/05/12

      The author of this article obviously hasn’t done any research into shopping strips outside of Sydney. Here in Melbourne, shopping strips are thriving and the biggest problem we have is finding a parking spot because of the popularity of these places.

      Glenferrie Road Malvern, High St Armadale, Chapel St South Yarra, Glenhuntly Road Glenhuntly, Acland St and Fitzroy St in St Kilda. Just a tiny example of busy, bustling shopping streets in Melbourne.

      Not sure why Frank Zumbo thinks that these areas in Melbourne are dying. Has he actually been to any of these places?

    • Ted says:

      10:33am | 23/05/12

      Don’t worry, Chris. This article isn’t based on research, logic or facts. It’s just a thinly veiled attack on the livelihood of the Balmain Tigers football club and Wests Tigers, it’s joint venture with Western Suburbs Magpies.

    • Reality Bites says:

      12:49pm | 23/05/12

      Strange too how the article closely follows the Balmain/Rozelle Chamber of Commerce campaign against Leichhardt Council’s parking policies. They’ve got quite a bit of local press, but their unique problems are not faced by business elsewhere who have broadly supportive local governments. Leichhardt’s Greens Council offers nothing but hostility and indifference to its businesses.

      Also, fearing retail competition and change, the Chamber of Commerce is mounting an aggressive attack on Balmain Tigers plans for survival in the area. Mr Zumbo supports the Chamber’s case.

      Retail change and decline in some areas is real issue, but I was very surprised to see Balmain’s Darling St used as a case study of “typical” strip shopping zone. It is far from it, as my earlier post outlined.

      As far as motivation for the article, Ted may well be on the money.

    • AFR says:

      09:03am | 23/05/12

      Is this really a big deal? Maybe society has simply moved on from shopping on high streets like Darling Street and Oxford Street, and prefer malls (and shopping on-line). I’m not saying its for the better or for the worse, but retailers have seen it coming for years (if not decades) and have to deal with it.

    • Anna C says:

      09:14am | 23/05/12

      Whenever I go to Balmain I always catch the bus and then walk.  I just would not consider taking my car there because the roads are too bloody narrow and it’s always hard to find a place to park.  I only occasionally go there to check out the shops, do a bit of walking and take in the greenie/inner city/ basket weaving vibe i.e. the so called ‘vibrant’ culture that is Balmain.

    • rev says:

      09:37am | 23/05/12

      Well they are,..... sorry to say,....They are being fronted by mobile short-term ‘inner city experience dwellers’ and gen x gentrification, all provided by initially, the middle class liberal voting baby boomer to send his kids to gps schools, thereby enrolling them within the schools boundary zone for bona fide enrolement.Just look at how many hotels (ie real pubs), not just hospitality arty farty snobby food restuarants,joints or defacto niteclubs ,exist now within these inner suburbs across Australia..It has been happening for years even in balmain.southmelb,port melb and the valley in brisbane.I know, I resided /worked in all these suburbs.
      Get real.The crossed cultured generational lifestyle which comes from mixing “hey there’s a pub which was’nt available in the outer suburbs except the middle suburban scotch/wine bottle in the cupboard of dad and mum, That whats screwed these suburbs over…...a culture of quasi lower middleclass   life changers screwed the inner cities over..Dont say you dont comprehend.that’s a copout
      Get on a train and travel get out of your myopic life corridor!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Time for travels with your aunt…..........................................you have a bank clerk perspective, you are an ignorant gentrified dawk!

    • Christopher says:

      09:55am | 23/05/12

      Yey here is my opportunity to bash the corporation shopping centres!

      As a whole community why are we letting these cancerous developments take such a strong hold? I am disgusted at how often I see that the traffic conditions get changed so that the priority is to turn into the centre. I know of one has even delayed the council agreed plans to refurbish the local shops that were knocked down for it to be developed just so that shoppers have to go inside the centre. I am sure this is happening elsewhere too. The corporation malls are manufactured spaces used as weapons of mass consumerism. Just look how the architecture techniques used are deceptive and underhanded. We all even know of the examples of how they design the place so you stay in the centre longer. Yet people love it, why? Is it because stuff is so cheap? Why are so many of us naïve to where this style of shopping is leading us? I mourn for the suburbs where the local shops are dying because a sense of community is dying. Walking down the shops and knowing the butcher, fruiterer and newsagent is being a part of a community. Being able to say hi to your neighbours there is even better. I love buying a sausage sambo made by volunteers from my local football team and I love local market days. Why? Quite simply it’s because local shops give me a sense of community. Community is devoid in corporation shopping malls and although we might buy cheap things there as a society we all end up poorer.

    • Kika says:

      10:12am | 23/05/12

      Hmmm… James St in New Farm (Brisbane) is booming. It’s a huge precinct up here. But then Stones Corner which was a vibrant shopping strip of the factory outlets and coffee shops is now sad relic of what used to be… I have no doubt that DFO probably killed off Stones Corner once and for good. Perhaps the crowd that go to James St aren’t affected too much by the lack of parking. But Stones Corner ALWAYS had issues with parking. You either risked getting towed by parking in the local shopping centre carpark and went shopping elsewhere, or tried to find street parking, paid the metre, or tried your luck parking in front of whatever other business was around. I remember my Mum always parking in front of the Russian Orthodox church and risking being towed. The parking was probably a crucial factor and DFO was the nail in the coffin.

      Councils are always going to be greedy little a8ssholes. Nothing like a bit of revenue raising and pretending to keep traffic flowing. I remember at my old work there was NO problems with traffic. We were the only big building in this quiet little end of Newstead. Yet because it was zoned, and had metres, the council dudes would be there all day everyday chalking tyres waiting for the moment to issue fines. There was hardly any public transport, no other parking. It was a nightmare.

    • Kerr says:

      12:36pm | 23/05/12

      We moved to the Stones Corner are in 2000 and it was a crappy little dive then, too. Revamping the pub made a difference but what they needed to do was build a big carpark and then shut down the street - yep, a mall.

    • NathanA says:

      10:31am | 23/05/12

      More and free parking is absolutely not the answer. That would just cause people to monopolise parks for long periods of time and discourage turnover. Why do you think the big malls are introducing paid parking?

      Cars do not make purchases, people on foot do. The best shopping strips are ones which are more walkable. Increase the density of housing nearby to the shopping strip, increasing the number of locals that can easily walk or ride to the strip, take their time, and then back home - all without needing to go near a car.

    • PTom says:

      03:04pm | 23/05/12

      I think Parramatta and the neabry Westmead and Harris Park strips would have made a better case study

      Parramatta has 3 mostly empty shopping Malls, a local china town that is almost gone, church st(plus a few side street) survive only because of the night trade( food and drinks). Parking is not the many issue as there is plenty nearby neither is the public transport as they have a free bus that runs around Parramatta CBD during the day.

      Then look at Harris Park and Westmead have small amout of shops but you don’t see many long term closed and you see more retail in the area, but would not Harris Park and Westmead be affect by the Westfield too?

      So why can’t 3 empty malls compete while 1 is bursting at the seems.

      3 Main reason I see.
      1) Traffic easy to get to nearby parking not just parking access. If people have to wait for parking they will but if it is to hard to get to they will drive else where.
      2) Trading hours some place are open less then the Mega Mall.
      3) Cleanliness/Modern fittings most people don’t like to shop where there are ditry street, poor lighting, bars on windows or shop fronts that have not been changes since before the 70’s, the Mega Malls prove this.

    • Erin says:

      11:17pm | 23/05/12

      Look at the charts -  a (huge) depression is coming and most of the smaller retailers will be killed anyway. This is only going to exacerbated by the bureaucracy desperately trying to maintain their standard of living through finding more and more ways to raise funds. At a council level this is going to bite retailers through a) chasing even more customers away and b) leaving workers with even less money to spend.after paying tolls, aprking etc

    • MM says:

      12:57pm | 24/05/12

      Come to Port Melbourne for an example of a thriving and viable (and growing) strip shopping centre.  There are other examples all over Melbourne.  Shame that Westfield have the lock on Sydney.  Maybe tennants of Westfield who are being screwed by their parking policies and high and rising rents.  Strip shopping centres should be the safety valve to keep rents in shopping centres moderate.

    • handbags says:

      07:39am | 13/06/12

      The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix should you werent too busy in search of attention. http://www.louisvuittonreplicapurses.us

 

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Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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