Shopping in the City report

Published on 03 October 2019


A new report examining challenges and opportunities for retail in Launceston's CBD was formally received by the City of Launceston today.

In recent months Dr Louise Grimmer from the University of Tasmania's School of Business and Economics has been working on behalf of the Council to develop the Shopping in the City report.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the report looked at the issues challenging retail in Launceston — many of which aren't unique to our city — and how the community can work together to address them.

"The sorts of things we're talking about are the boom in online retail, the importance of websites with online transaction capability, the rise in popularity of alternate payment services like Afterpay, CBD vacancy rates, as well as issues like parking and infrastructure," Mayor van Zetten said.

"While there's been a lot of anecdotal discussion over many years about the perceived challenges facing our CBD, this report is important because it provides a factual evidence base from which we can work together going forwards."

At its meeting today, the Council agreed to work with key stakeholders like Cityprom to develop an integrated city marketing campaign to position the CBD as a specialty shopping destination.

The Council will also consider following a number of recommendations arising from the report, including developing a strategic approach to improving the aesthetics of empty shops, working with property owners to encourage short-term retail leases, and increasing food options in the Brisbane St Mall. "

"City centres across Australia and the world are seeing their retail sectors challenged in new ways, as new technologies and new ways of doing business continue to evolve," Mayor van Zetten said.

"This report is aimed at exploring the drivers and barriers to shopping in our city centre, and what we might do to make it more attractive in the future. "The full report is available on our website, and I'd encourage any business owners -- or indeed, any member of the public — with an interest in the future of our CBD to take the opportunity to read it.

"It's an important document and I'm hopeful it will move us past some of the anecdotal commentary we see about the CBD and on to the facts. That will provide our best chance to work together to build solutions.

"It has been pleasing to see the enthusiastic support from stakeholders like Cityprom in outlining this course of action, and I'd certainly invite other CBD stakeholders and business owners who are willing to contribute to work with us.

"It's only by working together that we can make a difference, because many of these challenges are bigger than any single group or organisation."


The report can be accessed here.