Call for city to establish retail support group

WARRNAMBOOL City Council has been urged to establish an advisory committee to monitor and help the fragile retail sector.

The call has come from property leasing agent David Turner who said the region’s business strength was under threat.

His proposal has been welcomed by the council’s business support manager Tanya Egan who said she would be keen to explore the idea, particularly with Commerce Warrnambool.

Mr Turner said retailing had “forever changed” and Warrnambool had to work and plan in an unprecedented manner to promote, retain and recruit retail businesses to the south-west.

“It will not just happen of its own accord,” he said.

“Retail is a major employment sector for the region that is fragile and under threat.

“ There are changing dynamics I fear we are not keeping up with.

“Landlords need to be aware of the onerous criteria that must be matched in order to attract new retail tenants.

“Changes to retailer requirements, when it comes to opening new stores, may not be fully understood by landlords who will need to adapt in order to recruit and retain tenants.”

Ms Egan supported the need for specific focus on retailing.

“That would complement several activities delivered by the Business Support team in council such as business workshops, state government support and promoting Warrnambool as a location to live, work and invest,” she said. 

“Warrnambool is a trading city, our economic well-being is tied in with the retail spend of the region.  We are running a community Christmas night on November 30 in the city centre to create trade opportunities for our business community and run other events such as Fun4Kids Festival.

“I am working very closely with Commerce Warrnambool which has retailers on the board in designing our activities.”

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