The family-owned Gazcorp, run by the Gazal group, is set to open the new-look Fashion Spree centre at Liverpool on the site of the former Orange Grove designer outlet centre.
Having sat dormant after some controversy a few years ago, the Gazal family has resurrected the 14,500-square-metre site to cater for shoppers in greater Western Sydney.
Designer outlets are the new darlings of the retail sector and are a favourite of overseas travellers.
Vicinity Centres owns the Direct Factory Outlets (DFO) and says business has been bricks, particularly from Asian-based inbound tourists.
Local shoppers are also keen on a bargain and sales for these centres have, at times, started to outstrip traditional malls, according to the landlords.
Designer outlets are the new darlings of the retail sector. Photo: Fiona Morris
Vicinity’s chief executive Angus McNaughton said at the interim results that apparel retailers at the DFO outlets assets are tracking very strongly, up 10 per cent to the end of December.
Gazcorp director Nicholas Gazal says the new Fashion Spree centre will target all shoppers who have been starved of outlet sites in the western suburbs.
In Sydney, the main ones are DFO at Homebush, Mirvac’s Birkenhead Point and now Fashion Spree.
“We will offer up to 70 per cent off in high-quality brands, 13 of which are new to Liverpool,” Mr Gazal said.
Located on Orange Grove Road Liverpool, the Luchetti Krelle designed shopping destination will initially offer 14,500 sqm with room for a further 5000 sqm expansion.
Gazcorp director Nabil Gazal Jnr said brands will include Mimco, Country Road, Asics and Glue opening their first stores to the area.
Joining them are Vans, Bonds Outlet, Smiggle and womens wear store Bardot. Many more fashion and homewares brands will be revealed over the coming weeks.
Mr Gazal said Fashion Spree is designed with a turn-of-the-century industrial feel – polished concrete floors, recycled brick and plenty of natural light.
The new site comes as the retail sector is enjoying a day in the sun.
This has not been lost on the international brands, which continue to come into Australia.
According to CBRE’s retail agents, Australia has strengthened on the list of markets where international retailers want to expand and is now sitting at 11th place globally, with 19 per cent of retailers looking to grow their presence here.
A new survey by CBRE’s global retail team shows that 83 per cent of brands do not expect their physical store expansion plans to be affected by the growth in e-commerce in 2016, with only 22 per cent of brands concerned that stiff competition from online retailing will be a threat to the market in 2016.
Tim Starling, Pacific head of retail tenant representation for CBRE, said that despite the popularity of online shopping growing year on year, a physical store presence in key locations is still seen as critical for maintaining a strong brand presence.
“Shoppers still feel a need to go into a store, physically touch a product and enjoy the brand experience. The store is integral to the shopping journey and can be used in a number of different ways, such as to click and collect, research a product or brand or to test the product. It isn’t solely about the transactional side,” Mr Starling said.
CBRE’s national retail director, Alistair Palmer, said the firm is witnessing the strongest levels of international retailer inquiry in Australia to date and “we believe we are only part way through this cycle. The two stand-outs are the luxury and the premium fashion sectors”.