Foodies show growing appetite for Brisbane CBD space

The vacancy rate in the inner-Brisbane retail market has fallen from 2.7% to 2.1%, with cafes, restaurants and other food retailers accounting for most of the new tenancies.

Across the CBD, the amount of space leased by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food vendors has grown by 8.5% to 52,700 square metres from 2009 to 2011 while the presence of other food vendors has grown by 13% from 14,600 to 16,500.

Savills attributed the increase in food retailers to an increasing workforce within the CBD and commitments being realised within new office buildings.

Source: Savills

At the same time, the amount of space leased to household goods retailers has dwindled from 21,600 to 14,500. 

Sales growth for household goods vendors has fallen 4.1% over the past year. 

Space occupied by clothing retailers have grown by a modest 3%.

The 500-metre-long Queens Street mall comprises the majority of the core market and is described by Colliers as one of the best-performing retail precincts in the country, with 70,000 daily visitors.

Currently the biggest inner-City project is the 7,000-square metre refurbishment of the Wintergarden Shopping Centre on the Queens Street mall, due to be completed next year.

Vacancies have also fallen across the Brisbane CBD from 5.2% in 2009 to 4.9% currently and are down marginally from 8.6% to 8.5% on the periphery.

Despite vacancies falling, CBD retailers across all categories are experiencing below trend sales growth with moving annual turnover of 2% compared to the five and ten year averages of 5% to 6.5%.

Department stores, which make up 41% of the core precinct, are generating yearly turnover growth of only 0.3%.

Clothing, footwear and personal accessories stories, which comprise almost a fifth (17.5%) of retail space, have experienced growth of 4.4% due to discounting of stock and increased sales turnover.

The addition of international retailers is also expected to heighten completion for prime space, according to Savills’ second-quarter Brisbane retail space.

Among the international chains currently scouting out space is fashion outlet Zara, believed to be considering setting up the in flagship Queen Street mall precinct or the 800-square-metre former Borders site on the corner of Albert and Elizabeth streets.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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