Luxury watchmaker Longines is the latest international retailer to secure a flagship store on Melbourne’s Collins Street after striking a deal with the landlord to modify the property’s façade to meet its global standards.
The property at 256 Collins Street is set at 148sqm of ground space and additional 138sqm of basement space.
The retailer initially turned down the space due to the store frontage not meeting the brand’s global requirements but later took a second look after CBRE leasing agents Zelman Ainsworth and Tan Thach worked closely with architecture firm Meiter 3 and the building landlord to draft designs that unlocked the store’s frontage potential and showed Longines what was possible.
According to CBRE, the heritage building had significant limitations, making it challenging to modify the building. Eventually, they and Meiter 3 curated a council and heritage approved strategy, which also spoke to Longines’ sensitive design identity.
The draft scheme included removing awnings, amplifying the building’s original architecture – circa 1950 – and mirroring the appearance of other Longines flagship locations across the globe; a classic, bright and timeless store front.
Longines subsequently secured a 10-year lease over the property at a market rent.
Ainsworth said there are more opportunities than ever for landlords to work with retailers to reposition their properties and stay relevant.
“There are endless opportunities for landlords to reposition their real estate to ensure their properties suit a changing retail market,” he said. “Today, retail stores must provide brands with the platform and exposure they need to remain competitive on a global scale and engaged with their customer base.”
“Ultimately if the shop on offer is one dimensional with no flexibility to adapt to the changing market – it will be difficult for retailers to see any value,” he added.
Other international retailers who have leased spaced on Collins St over the past 26 months include Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Versace, Fendi, Berluti, TAG Heuer, Coach, Mercedes Me, Omega, Cartier, Burberry and Hour Glass.
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