New bulky goods sites could end developer role

By Sarah Falson

SYDNEY: Harvey Norman is the first electrical retailer to join the growing trend started by haberdashery supplier, Spotlight, that sees large discount retailers develop their own superstores without the help of an outsourced developer.

Spotlight pioneered the trend a few years ago when it built a superstore in Sydney’s Rockdale, leased part of it to its subsidiary Anaconda Store (an outdoor sporting goods supplier) and acted as the anchor tenant, taking residence in the remaining premises.

According to BIS Shrapnel’s senior project leader, Maria Lee, who recently authored a study on the bulk goods sector, Harvey Norman has plans for two premises in Melbourne, which are due to being construction this year.

Lee told the The Australian newspaper that Harvey Norman would take on the role as the developer, and develop extra space for two or three other retail stores on-site.

Lee also said that if the trend continued, it could make life difficult for developers who traditionally signed up as the anchor tenant, as Harvey Norman is planning on doing in the two Melbourne locations of Mentone and Springvale.

The BIS Shrapnel study found that floor space taken up by large retailers’ bulky goods rose by 720,000 square metres last year, which is a record increase in a single year, according to Lee.

“The golden age of bulky goods is past,” she told The Australian.

According to the report, over the four years to June 2005 the annual growth in consumer spending on bulky goods was more than 10 per cent. During the year to June 2006, spending lessened to 7.5 per cent, and is expected to reduce to less than five per cent from now until 2010.

“Over the last eight years 3.8 million square metres of bulky goods floor space has been built as provision shifted from strip retailing to purpose-built centres and freestanding category-killer superstores,” said Lee.

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