Growth to retail essential to stop dollars 'escaping'
ALMOST $400 million of Noosa's annual retail spend is "leaked" to other major shopping outlets like Maroochydore and online.
That is according to Queensland Investment Corporation as part of its pitch to Noosa Council for its major expansion application.
The original report argued that a greater range of products was a major factor in a 37% overall loss of local retail spend in 2014, with 57% of specialty apparel being purchased outside the shire. The QIC consultant claimed the main trade area market share of about 10%, with Noosaville and Weyba Rd, excluding the Civic, making up more than 20% of the retail take.
"Escape spending is very high at 37% of retail spending, clearly demonstrating that existing facilities and services in the trade area are not fully satisfying the market."
The QIC report argued there was "a need for Noosa to provide a critical mass of specialty stores".
"The provision of discount department stores is well below the normal provision for markets like Noosa, with a substantial population base and shopper profile and a strong tourist market."
The QIC report said local supermarket trading was performing strongly, which demonstrated an undersupply that could be met by the Civic's expansion.
"Growth in the retail market is forecast at $271 million between 2014 and 2021, excluding inflation," the submission read.
"Under current circumstances, around $100 million of this growth would be spent outside the trade area.
"There is clearly potential to claw back some of this leakage with further retail development in Noosa."
The QIC asserted its present approach to local procurement for its Civic operations had also resulted in a $2 million injection into the local economy.The centre also currently employed 952 people in permanent, part-time or casual positions, which would increase by 800 should the Noosa expansion go ahead as planned.
"The current application seeks to improve the diversity and range of facilities available to the community at the centre with the addition of two supermarkets, a discount department store and a greater variety of food and specialty stores," the QIC submission read.
"Over time, it will enhance the prospect of the Noosa business centre providing an even greater diversity of uses to meet the needs of the community.
"The development will also provide a useable interface with the natural environment with the creation of a diverse civic space at the entrance to the new development."
There would also be vegetated arbour along the frontage.
"I trust that the current proposal, along with the QIC's initial investment in the site of $200 million, demonstrates to council that QIC is committed to the site and its ongoing, long-term improvement," the submission read.
- PETER GARDINER