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Luke Jamieson, Vicinity Centres

Luke Jamieson, Vicinity Centres

The Shopping Centre industry is driven by people. It’s the skills and expertise of the people that manage, develop and evolve shopping centres for their communities that creates this great industry. Shopping Centre News profiles a range of interesting people from the industry each week.  This week we talk to Luke Jamieson who leads the Tasmanian team for Vicinity Centres.  

What is your current role and main responsibilities?
Centre Manager for Eastlands and Northgate Shopping Centres in Hobart.  Leading the Tasmanian team in delivering great shopping experiences across both centres.

How did you get in to this industry?
I was working in a Human Resource Business Partnering capacity at REA Group looking after the commercial line of business which is where I got some exposure to the real estate component of the industry. Following that I moved across to Vicinity in the role of Senior HR Business Partner, working with the Executive General Manager of Shopping Centres.

Tell us a little bit about your career
Until taking this role, my background has been in HR working across a range of companies such as SnowyHydro, GE Capital and REA Group. My first 12 months at Vicinity I was the Senior HR Business Partner supporting the Shopping Centres portfolio, and now I’ve stepped across to a commercial role as a Centre Manager.

What has been your hardest career decision?
Taking the step from my corporate / HR role where I was comfortable and confident in what I was doing, into a commercial role, where it has become about putting the theory into practice, solving different problems from what I’ve been used to, and trying to deliver tangible results from a P&L perspective. It was a big decision, and involved a move for me and my partner, Sarah, from Melbourne to Hobart, but I’m absolutely loving it which is really reassuring.

What do you love most about your job?
I get a lot of energy from being around people, and I love being on the floor in the shopping centre amongst it all. I’m also really enjoying the challenge of learning a new role, but doing it with the support of a very capable and experienced team around me.

What do you least like about your job?
The worry that at some point I’ll receive a phone call that something has gone wrong at one of my centres.

What motivates you?
I’m a pretty laid back and tend to go with the flow, but I’m really motivated to repay the faith that’s been shown in me by the organisation and the people who supported my move.

What makes a great Centre Manager?
For me I think it’s being able to relate to people on a personal level, from staff to customers and retailers, being able to lead a team in delivering a great shopping centre experience, and to balance commercial decisions with mutually beneficial outcomes for the business and for your retailers.

What do you think makes a successful shopping centre?
From the running of the centre, having a great team on the ground is critical. From a shopping perspective, it’s about creating that right balance of products to meet your customers needs, providing the convenience and experience to keep them coming back, and being a genuine part of the community, as a destination, but also as a stakeholder and contributor.

Which in your opinion is the best example of a good shopping centre, retail precinct or place?
Chadstone is impressive in so many ways. Before I worked in shopping centres Ala Moana in Hawaii was the first place I felt you could easily spend an entire day shopping and still not see it all.

What are some of the trends you are seeing in the industry?
I think the impact of technology, both on the shopping experience and also on the systems and processes used to manage and run centres is evolving.

Did you think you would end up in the role you are in now?
In fact it happened in such a hurry that I’m still coming to grips with it I think!

What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry?
Find good people and learn as much as you can from them. There are so many people who have been in the shopping centre industry for a long time, so do whatever you can to tap into their experience. Plus, some of the stories are incredible!

What do you do in your leisure time to de-stress?
I run for exercise, and I cook and smoke a lot of meat

What’s your favourite retailer and why?
I like well presented, knowledgable, old fashioned butchers. Someone who will take an interest in what you’re buying and cooking, and can give you the low down on what’s occurring all in one place!

What is the single most important quality you need to possess to be in this industry?
Pride, passion and resilience are the things that I’ve seen the most in my work with our teams across the 80 centres so I’d have to go with one of those.

Eastlands in scenic Tasmania

About the author

Shopping Centre News

Shopping Centre News (SCN) is in the ‘information business’, and is perceived as such by its readers. Daily industry news makes a must-visit as part of the morning routine for those who want to keep right across the latest retail developments and events, while SCN's premium magazine is the leading publication for the shopping centre industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Known as the ‘industry bible’ SCN is printed five times a year with fascinating, in-depth features and important critical analysis written by known industry insiders as well as the popular ‘Guns’ reports, which ranks Australian shopping centre performances. Shopping Centre News is the only publication in the world that features centre statistics on Turnover, Turnover per square metre and Specialty Shop turnover per square metre for every major centre in Australia.

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