Vibrancy and innovation behind the Melbourne shopping scene
In short, I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time each year for over a decade in Melbourne, and watched it grow and develop at a constant rate.
The cranes have not left the skyline for a decade, and it has become such a vibrant, open minded and relaxed city. Its architecture and planning laws allow for innovation and its local councils appear to want business, retail business in particular, to set up and thrive here. Each little rule, or lack of regulation, seems to make it easier for shoppers and retailers to spend time together.
Little things make such a difference, like plenty of on street parking, short restrictions during peak hours and predominantly free parking with two hour limitations which allows plenty of time for eating and shopping. Where paid council parking is available, you can have a full day of parking in a council spot for under $10.
Now I am sure several readers will tell me of nightmare council regulations that hinder shopping and we could swap those horror stories all day if we chose. But my visitor's perspective is much brighter and more welcoming.
I just thought this stuff happened due to serendipity. But apparently it doesn't.
I received an invite to the latest annual update on the Melbourne Retail Strategy 2006:2012. Yep, apparently there is somebody, or somebodies, high up enough in the state and city government to be able to shape, propose and then lead an innovative project to make retailers welcome, and then attract shoppers to the City of Melbourne.
The background from the website says that the project is "the first of its kind, was launched in 2006 as a joint initiative between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government to strategically position the City of Melbourne as a global retail capital and to ensure the continued advancement of retail in Melbourne."
This year's report will be presented by the Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business/Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle. Sadly I won't be able to attend as I will be overseas, but I have asked for a copy and will feedback parts of it in coming weeks.
Even before I read it, I truly hope that the innovative and vibrant shopping environment we all enjoy in Melbourne, is in a large part due to innovative and vibrant state and city government employees who took the opportunity to make thing better for all of us. Because if one very large city, governed by two very different levels of government can achieve this, then many other towns and cities across Australia can.
In his role as CEO of CROSSMARK, Kevin Moore looks at the world of retailing from grocery to pharmacy, bottle shops to car dealers, corner store to department stores. In this insightful blog, Kevin covers retail news, ideas, companies and emerging opportunities in Australia, NZ, the US and Europe. His international career in sales and marketing has seen him responsible for business in over 40 countries, which has earned him grey hair and a wealth of expertise in international retailers and brands. CROSSMARK Asia Pacific is Australasia's largest provider of retail marketing services, consulting to and servicing some of Australasia's biggest retailers and manufacturers.