Centres brace for 10% income slug due to Stockland growth

AN ECONOMIC impact assessment has found the Stockland expansion will damage the bottom lines of other Hervey Bay shopping centres, reducing turnover at the other centres by 10 to 12%.

The assessment also stated that Stockland is expected to capture almost 20% of the area's market share by June 2019.

The information was heard at a meeting of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, but Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he did not expect a larger Stockland complex would impact too much on other centres.

He said the expansion was targeting those who looked outside the area for shopping experiences, with the new centre expected to contain some of the "leakage" as people travelled to Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane to shop for greater choice and options.

"Stockland identified that leakage and is looking to attract that market," Cr O'Connell said.

With many people heading online to shop, the bigger complex, equipped with a food court and cinemas after stage two is complete, might encourage those people to spend locally instead, Cr O'Connell said.

The report said a reduction in turnover of up to 10% annually had been noted to affect Pialba Place, 12% at Bay Plaza and 10% at Eli Waters Shopping Centre.

The report stated the impact would be moderate if greater than 10% and relatively minor if less than 10%.

The average impact in the local government area was equated at 6.7%.

Stockland Hervey Bay centre manager Paul Kelsey said Hervey Bay had always had a "very fragmented retail offering" and the business would be focused on getting customers to spend and work locally.

"To be successful, retail needs to be fresh, inviting and relevant to customers' needs and we are capitalising on the opportunity we have identified to improve the retail experience in Hervey Bay," Mr Kelsey said.

Sherrie Stone, manager at Pialba Place, said she was not worried about what the competition was doing.

"We focus on what we are doing," she said.

A spokesman for Urangan Plaza declined to comment and Bay Plaza did not respond to a request for a comment.

The report said the impact was to be expected in a dynamic environment.


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