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Retailers shift focus to ‘future of retail’ in Sydney’s CBD

Nike George Street Store_Ground Floor_low
Retail Prodigy Group opened the doors to a three-level Nike flagship store at George Street earlier this year.

George Street is the future of retail in Sydney’s CBD with light rail access and 40 per cent cheaper rents driving the appeal, according to Colliers International.

According to the real estate firm, George Street’s reinvigoration will see the precinct become the new hotspot for retail in the CBD.

The new light rail, which is currently being constructed down George Street, extending from Circular Quay to Central Station and culminating at Randwick and Kingsford, combined with rent that is nearly 40 per cent cheaper than destinations like Pitt Street Mall, are increasing George Street’s appeal to retailers.

“Retailers are looking to George Street as the next option and the light rail development will assist in transforming this area into the main vein of the Sydney CBD, allowing greater access to this part of the city on a daily basis,” said Pieter Englebrecht, retail leasing executive at Colliers International.

Cameron Wakeham, manager of Retail Leasing at Colliers International, said the comparatively low prices of George Street, compared to some of the other retail hubs make it an appealing option for retailers.

“George Street presents a cheaper option with average rents nearly 40 per cent cheaper than the Pitt Street Mall and other retail destinations within the city,” he said.

“With the imminent arrival of e-commerce stores such as Amazon and Alibaba, retailers need to remain competitive and cut costs in any way they can, and ensuring rental costs remain relatively low is an easy way to do this.”

According to Colliers International, current average rents in George Street start from $3,750sqm – $6,750 sqm compared to $9,750 – $21,250 per sqm in Pitt Street Mall. Rents for King Street, between George and Castlereagh Street start from $5,500 – $12,750 sqm.

Mark McClennan, director at GM Retail, said there are also other developments in the pipeline for George Street which have a retail component, including Circular Quay Tower by Lend Lease, 275 George Street by John Holland and Wynanrd Place, Brookfield, said Pieter Englebrecht.

Colliers added that many retailers are beginning to rethink their Pitt Street Mall precinct strategy with Forever 21 looking to exit their lease in Sydney Arcade and Lovisa and GStar exiting the mall from MidCity Shopping Centre.

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