NSW retailers gain increased transparency

When it comes to leases.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has helped secure a major win for retail tenancy in New South Wales, with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) and other industry bodies, which are behind the Retail Industry Code of Practice – The Reporting of Sales and Occupancy Costs (the Code).

An outcome of the 2016 review of the Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW), the Code means shopping centre landlords will now have an obligation to provide benchmark information to their tenants where retailers provide sales data.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said that from 1 January 2019, the Code will ensure that retailers will have the ability to access information on sales reporting and occupancy costs, improving transparency and accountability.

“This landmark achievement for retailers in NSW will provide vital information to tenants in shopping centres, allowing them to better understand the real value of their leases,” Zimmerman said.

“The implementation of this Code will help to give some power back to retail tenants and give them some added certainty when it comes to negotiating with their landlords.”

The Code has also been agreed to by the Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) and will be implemented next year. Shopping centres will have a six-month transitional period to 1 July 2019 to sign-up and implement the Code.

Zimmerman said that the reform could not have been possible without the support of the PGA, along with the Deputy Premier of NSW, Hon John Barilaro, who championed the reforms.

“The ARA is grateful to our friends and partners at the PGA for their continued advocacy, not only on behalf of their own members, but for the benefit of the entire industry.

“We will be working to implement this Code nationally over the medium-term, and with rising costs, increasing competition and patchy sales growth creating some headwinds for retailers, big wins like this can make a substantial difference.”

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