“All economic forecasts are for WA to once again become the economic powerhouse of Australia soon,” said Ray White’s head of research, Vanessa Rader. “But the proliferation of online shopping has been a driving force towards the demise of many retailers over the last 10 years.
“A greater emphasis on experience-based retailing has been key, providing greater entertainment, activity and education instore to attract customers,” she said.
Over the past few years there has been a strong reduction in retail trade growth results, most notably for discretional goods retailing, which has been exacerbated by the fundamentally poor economic condition across the state.
“Despite the reduction, there has encouragingly been an improvement in employment locally which has translated into some further increases in GSP, highlighting upward growth in economic fundamentals for WA,” Rader said.
And there are some local variations to the trend. Bay View Terrace in Claremont and Napoleon Street in Cottesloe have shown positive changes in vacancy rates, but there is a bleaker outlook for Rokeby Road in Subiaco, according to the research.
Ray White’s WA commercial adviser, Brett Wilkins, said the Bay View Terrace retail precinct had shown some changes in tenancy profile over the last 15 months.
“The dominance of the clothing and soft goods sector has continued into this period. There has been limited change in the tenancy profile across Napoleon Street over the last 15 months.
“The most positive change, however, has been the improvement in the vacancy, already off a low base of 6.16 per cent in June 2017, to now 4.14 per cent or 214sqm,” Wilkins said.