By Craig Zammit
SYDNEY: The Australian property industry has thrown its continuing support behind the Bulky Goods Retailers Association (BGRA) with sponsorship increasing by more than 650 per cent for the 2006/07 period.
The list of 2006/07 sponsors range from property developers and property managers to agents and associated suppliers. The primary reasons cited for sponsorship include the anticipated maturation and growth of the market, as well as the current strength of the bulky goods sector.
“We are delighted to be sponsoring the Bulky Goods Retailers Association as we believe it is critical that industry participants have a forum in which to discuss issues and challenges that face everyone with an interest in the bulky goods sector,” said BGRA platinum sponsor and Valad Property Group CEO – real estate investment, Martyn McCarthy.
“Bulky goods are one of the fastest growing property sectors and have reached institutional grade investment quality in some areas,” he said.
BGRA executive director, Philippa Kelly, believes the overwhelming support from the Australian property industry signifies a coming-of-age for the retail group.
“Such strong support highlights the crucial role the BGRA now plays in improving the retail planning environment, not only for bulky goods retailers but also developers, agents and others with a vested interest in the sector.”
The increased sponsorship will allow BGRA to pursue further lobbying of local and state government bodies to further resolve outstanding issues which have arisen in recent times.
“While the bulky goods retailing format has grown tremendously over recent years, planning laws have not kept up and we need to address a number of issues in a number of states.
“It’s vital that the association works with state and local governments to address these issues for the continued viability of our industry,” she said.
Charter Hall Group retail director, fund manager and BRGA platinum sponsor, Richard Champion, believes BGRA’s support and representation of the bulky goods sector is vital to the successful operation of bulky goods centres.
“As a long term owner of bulky good centres we regard our interests as landlord as being very much aligned with those of our tenants.
“Indeed, we see close partnering with retailers as the best way to create and maintain successful centres. For this reason we are delighted to sponsor the BGRA which so effectively represents this unique retail sector.”
Kelly believes that such support from landlords for a retailers’ association is exceptionally unique.
Bulky goods retailing represents over 20 per cent of Australian retailing and employs over 40,000 people, with shoppers spending over $33.5 billion on the sector annually.
In 2005, 440,000 square metres of new bulky goods space was constructed in Australia with BIS Shrapnel predicting equal or greater construction in 2006.