• Six Hubs Transforming the Sydney Retail Landscape

Six Hubs Transforming the Sydney Retail Landscape

mat hudson

Despite Australians spending A$21.3 billion buying goods online in 2017, the physical retail market is still showing significant signs of growth. Not only did we see 3.7% year-on-year industry expansion in September 2018, but we also saw Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall once again make it into our global top 10 list of most expensive retail locations.

Much of this growth has been driven by the influx of international fast fashion powerhouse brands, including H&M, ZARA, and UNIQLO, into the Australian retail landscape. One of the most notable side effects of this rush of foreign retailers has been the added pressure it has placed on the existing high streets both from an affordability and availability of space perspective.

With CBD locations in Sydney already ranking alongside Tokyo’s Ginza and Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay as the most expensive retail locations in Asia Pacific, there has been a notable shift towards expanding the retail core beyond the traditional two city blocks unlocking significant development in the following six hubs:

  • The Quay Precinct
  • Wynyard Precinct
  • Western Corridor
  • Martin Place Precinct
  • Pitt Street Mall Expansion
  • The Darling Harbour and Barangaroo Precinct

Viable new retail locations

Retailers and developers alike are viewing these hubs favourably for a range of key factors. Each precinct has a genetic make-up that targets five or seven-day trade, as well as day and/or evening activation across a broad range of sectors. The existing foot traffic in these locations lends itself favourably to retail, with the high street locations not requiring retailers to build an audience from scratch.

Furthermore, the six hubs can match the desired demographics of the retail occupiers considering a move into one of the precincts. This includes trends like the gentrification of the Western Corridor, or the large tourist market around The Quay Precinct.

Because of all of this, Sydney is undergoing significant redevelopment and planning. The city is poised to capitalise on the expansion of the retail core, utilising significant upgrades to the infrastructure connecting the CBD. Underutilised sites in these six key locations, aligning with the infrastructure projects and the expansion of the core, are in the process of capitalising on significant redevelopment opportunities.

The Six Precincts

Precincts in detail

The Quay Precinct

  • 1 Alfred Street
  • 172 George Street
  • 220 George Street
  • 51-57 Pitt Street
  • Young & Loftus
  • 50 Bridge Street
  • Food and beverage
  • Core focus on five-day, breakfast, lunch and dinner trade
  • Tram pushing commuters further out of the CBD core
  • Laneway activation, highly focused around F&B

The Wynyard Precinct

  • 280 George Street
  • 275 George Street
  • Wynyard Place
  • Shell House
  • 36-60 Carrington Street
  • Food and beverage
  • Service retail
  • Currently five-day trade, moving towards seven-day trade on completion of infrastructure and listed developments
  • Seamless connection to Barangaroo creating one big hub
  • Significantly high density within primary catchment

The Western Corridor

  • Barrack Place
  • 275 Kent Street
  • 347 Kent Street
  • 309 Kent Street
  • Food and beverage
  • Service retail
  • Five-day trade
  • Heritage listed buildings and striking streetscapes create opportunity for unique stores and offerings
  • High density and gentrification creating market opportunity

The Martin Place Precinct

  • 345 George Street
  • 60 Martin Place
  • 39 Martin Place
  • 50 Martin Place
  • 1 Castlereagh Street
  • Food and beverage
  • Fashion
  • Service retail
  • Five-day trade, however targeting 7 days
  • International brands such as Nespresso opening stores create chance for new concepts
  • Potential for future pedestrianisation

Pitt Street Mall Expansion

  • 388 George Street
  • 175 Pitt Street
  • 130 Pitt Street
  • 44 Market Street
  • 55 market Street
  • 77 market Street
  • Fashion
  • Service retail
  • Seven-day trade
  • Expansion from Pitt Street Mall creating opportunity for standalone presence

The Darling Harbour and Barangaroo Precinct

  • Darling Square
  • International Convention Centre
  • Harbourside
  • Barangaroo
  • Cockle Bay
  • The Ribbon
  • Food and beverage
  • Entertainment
  • Seven-day trade
  • Chance to capitalise on the convention going market as well as serving the neighbouring education and Chinatown precincts

With the emergence of these new retail precincts and the near completion of light rail and infrastructure projects, the signs of progress are everywhere.

From Wynyard to Darling Harbour, Martin Place to Circular Quay, new retail experiences are increasing, creating a more energetic atmosphere in what was previously a business and tourism precinct.

The imminent completion of the light rail will create seamless connectivity, forming a centralisation of these six emerging hubs and expanding Sydney’s CBD retail core as we know it.

To find out more about the changing fortunes of Sydney and global retail, download our Main Streets Across the World 2018 report here.

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