This week in retail property

Turkey, Istanbul, December 17, 2019: Apple company logo at the entrance of the Apple Store.

Stores close on coronavirus fears

As large public gatherings are increasingly discouraged, a growing number of retailers are deciding to shut down their bricks-and-mortar operations – at least for a while.

Global tech business Apple has announced the temporary closure of all its stores outside of Greater China from March 27, a move chief executive Tim Cook described as an effort to minimise the risk of the coronavirus’s transmission.

Allbirds co-CEOs Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger said the business would be shutting its stores in the US and Europe from March 15 to 27, adding that staff would be paid in full during the shutdown period. Skincare brand Glossier also announced the closure of its permanent and temporary retail locations. Founder and chief executive Emily Weiss said it was a fluid situation, so the business would be monitoring and adjusting its plans accordingly.

“This is a tough call for many reasons. In our New York flagship alone, 2000 people gather daily from around the world, often lining up down the block to connect with Glossier and with one another,” Weiss wrote in a blog post announcing the closures.

DJs’ men’s store to sprout tower

A 22-storey luxury residential tower is to be created above Sydney’s David Jones men’s store, built by Cbus Property and Scentre Group. The mixed-use building – with addresses of 111 and 121 Castlereagh Street – will integrate 101 residences with commercial spaces and a luxury retail precinct. Levels seven through 12 of 121 Castlereagh Street will contain serviced office space of approximately 11,500sqm above the heritage site.

The commercial space will be visibly connected to the extension of Westfield Sydney below, which is being developed by Scentre Group.

The site is designed to achieve a 5-star Green Star rating, 5.5-star NABERS Energy rating and WELL Gold rating, Shopping Centre News reports. Colliers International has been appointed to act as the selling agent for 111 Castlereagh (residential) and leasing agent for 121 Castlereagh (commercial).

Doncaster centre eyes foodies

Westfield Doncaster, in Melbourne’s east, will open its $30 million rooftop dining and entertainment precinct later this year, a redevelopment which has 14 new restaurants lined up.

The new restaurants include Woodstock Pizzicheria, Betty’s Burgers, 7 Apples Gelato and Sushi Jiro, Shopping Centre News has revealed. The new indoor-outdoor precinct has a distinctly Melbourne aesthetic, with village-style laneways and pathways and a large conservatorium, Shopping Centre News reports.

“Our vision is to deliver a social destination for Melbourne’s East that’s not only convenient but a culinary haven for a community passionate about dining and eating out. The rooftop space will offer a truly elevated dining experience, with a compelling mix of restaurants, from much-loved favourites to new offerings,” said Scentre Group regional centre experience manager Charlie Rimmer told the website. The well-known Melbourne centre recently celebrated its 50-year anniversary.

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