COVID-19 has made MAT and other turnover statistics invalid – in terms of any comparative formats. The fact is they’ve been affected far more than any other centres – Big, Little or Mini Guns.
We saw Melbourne, for example, totally locked down for months; other cities ‘closed’ their CBDs for various periods. Retail was, to use an expression, kicked in the guts, with savage consequences; centres had ‘Zero’ turnover with retail operations simply ceasing to function. Only now, as we go to press, do we see signs of a comeback.
But that doesn’t mean nothing was, or is happening in CBD retail powerhouses; in fact, the opposite is true.
Although fundamental retail has been gutted, most major CBDs are highly active in terms of re-development, new developments, new formats, new usages and fresh presentations. The reality is that the CBDs are alive with activity; developers and managers of major retail complexes are as busy as ever, re-positioning and reformatting their assets in anticipation of the ‘new norm’, and CBD re-awakening.
As usual, following is a list of centres and overall information on centre details, but our ‘CBD Guns theme’ permeates the whole issue. From the views of the various Lord Mayors, a selection of major CBD retailers, F&B experts, even media specialists – this issue is full of CBD stories and reports.
In shopping centre development terms, it’s arguably true that Australia’s major CBDs are more dynamic now than are their suburban cousins. CBD retail centre owners and managers are coming to terms with new consumer habits, different working times; new shopping habits, alternative F&B requirements. This issue, looks at it all. Our CBDs are readying themselves for the retail resurgence!