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Brett Lowe, Lendlease

Brett Rowe, Lendlease

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 speak to Lendlease’s Brett Rowe, Operations Manager at Erina Fair – the largest shopping centre on NSW’s Central Coast – Erina Fair has been servicing the region since 1987 and ranks in the top 20 for MAT reporting $700.94 million in the 2019 Big Guns placing it at no. 18 in the country. 

What is your current role and main responsibilities? 
Operations Manager Erina Fair Shopping Centre,  managing cleaning, security, maintenance, risk, sustainability, tenancy coordination, and capital budgets.

How did you get in to this industry? 
My father was a shopping centre manager many years ago, so a lot of my interest has come from him.

Erina Fair, the largest shopping centre on the Central Coast

Tell us a little bit about your career
I am an air conditioning mechanic by trade, with several years’ experience in hotel management, office tower management, working for major retailers. I have taken time out to run our own business, holiday resort management here on the Central Coast.

What has been your hardest career decision?
Buying our own business and moving out of Sydney. We bought the business as the GFC hit so it was a gamble that paid off, as we were able to bring our business acumen to the business and turn it into a successful operation.

What do you love most about your job? 
The unpredictability of what may happen on any day.  Even with the best processes and procedures in place, there is always something around the corner that is unexpected.

What motivates you?
The fast pace of some of the decisions you are required to make. With my many years of experience, I find that my quick decisions are generally the right ones.

What makes a great Operations Manager?
Someone who is open to new ideas and processes to improve not only you personally but the product we work with every day.

Erina Fair

What is your most memorable moment of your career? 
Achieving a 100% increase in our sustainability rate in 2018,  by implementing a pulpmaster for organic recycling. Followed by our most recent project to upgrade five mechanical plants for a total of $11 million.

What do you think makes a successful shopping centre? 
A centre that listens to their customers and understands their needs and responds to those needs.

Which in your opinion is the best example of a good shopping centre, retail precinct or place?
I believe one of the best places that has been designed in the last few years has to be The Grounds of Alexandria. Being a simple yet appealing product that caters for all ages.

What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry? 
Listen to your experienced managers or peers, soak in as much knowledge as you can.  If you don’t understand, ask again.

What do you do in your leisure time to de-stress? 
I play cricket on the Central Coast and in the last two years my son has joined me in grade. This is been one of my greatest highlights – to have my son play in the team along with other dads and their sons.

What’s your favourite retailer and why? 
Rebel, as a keen sportsperson I still enjoy wandering this retailer each week. Macpac is a new favourite, as we have just opened their largest format store at Erina Fair.

Do you like shopping? 
I enjoy looking at the concepts and finish products for a shopping centre, rather than shopping itself.

What is the single most important quality you need to possess to be in this industry? 
Resilience and a passion for retail.

Want to be profiled? Contact Belinda at belinda@shoppingcentrenews.com.au

About the author

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Shopping Centre News

Shopping Centre News (SCN) is in the ‘information business’, and is perceived as such by its readers. Daily industry news makes shoppingcentrenews.com.au 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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