- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 04 October 2012 11:28, Updated 11 October 2012 00:50
If you walked past the old Gowings building in Sydney yesterday, you could be forgiven for thinking that these are terrific times for Australian retail. Dozens of young women were camped out on the pavement in their most fashionable togs, waiting to get inside the new flagship Topshop store and get their hands on even more.
In a prime location on the corner of George and Market Streets, the store spans four levels and includes the men’s label Topman as well. The buzz has been huge, with everyone from 2DayFM and Ten Breakfast covering the launch to hundreds of tweets under the #topshop hashtag.
But Topshop, a British fashion brand and retail chain loved by cool girls and wannabes everywhere, is just the latest foreign fashion retailer to lob onto our shores. British brand Jigsaw, Spanish label Zara, Swedish chain H&M and US retailers such as Forever 21 and GAP have also arrived over the past few years.
It is an intriguing juxtaposition when you consider the constant headlines about the woes of the retail sector in Australia. Aren’t we always told that shoppers are abandoning bricks and mortar in favour of buying online?
So what is going on? Are the new entrants in a honeymoon phase because of the glamour of an international brand? Or is it just that the local guys had it too good for too long and need to lift their game?
Clearly, Topshop won’t have people camping out on the streets every night but when the excitement dies down, it should still be a good business. From all accounts, foreign retailers are doing well out of Australia – Zara, for example, is in a growth phase for its parent company, Inditex Group, fuelled mostly by international expansion.
With the Australian dollar still riding high and our economy doing better than many other industrialised nations, income earned here must be appealing for international companies.