RETAILERS are fighting back against online competition with upmarket makeovers in their latest bid to lure shoppers through the doors.
conditions, many are vamping up internal and external shop fit outs with multi-million-dollar redesigns as a way of attracting customers.
Major retailers, including Myer, are turning to architects to create something “that is way is beyond just a store to buy something, but an experience or destination”.
Roger Nelson, principal at NH Architecture, says stores have to think beyond traditional bricks and mortar to create an X-factor.
”If the store hasn’t got something to offer and hasn’t got something to be generous with, then why are you there?”
NH Architecture was commissioned by to complete the $225 million redevelopment of Myer’s Bourke Street store.
”It was not just a redevelopment – it had to be something that would really reposition Myer back at the forefront of retailing in Australia.”
”It was really about cementing Myer’s role in the daily life of the city so it would transcend the vagaries of other things that come and go, whether it’s seasonal, the weather, economies or even other forms of transactions.”
Mr Nelson said the impact of technology was demanding a more compelling physical environment with ”a more human aspect to it, one that actually activates and stimulates the senses and is multidimensional”.
Regional retailers are also revamping stores to attract shoppers.
North Queensland’s Hibiscus Shopping Centre is currently undergoing a 2.5 million make-over to deliver enhanced retail options in time for Christmas.
That’s the prediction from international shopping centre guru Bruce Shaw, who says shopping centres are reinventing themselves, adding bars, gourmet restaurants and more live entertainment to attract customers.
Mr Shaw, the managing director of architecture and interior design company Buchan Group, has long been at the cutting edge of shopping mall trends, having been on the development team for London’s first Westfield shopping centre and Sydney’s Chatswood Chase.
“A lot of things have been added with hotels, residential and office space so they’re going to become more a mixture of eat, work, live, play destinations,” Mr Shaw told news.com.au.
While the first mega malls were built to be shopping destinations, entertainment and food outlets could be their saving grace, with the retail industry still reeling from a drop in sales since the global financial crisis.