Retail Doctor Group has teamed up with major Australian shopping centres to help independent retailers make their way through a challenging period for the industry.

According to Marguerite Bell, Retail Doctor Group business fitness specialist, shopping centres have realised they no longer have the luxury of demand for physical space as they face potential vacancies and high pressure to provide rental abatements.

“It is a challenging time for many retailers, some are battling with high occupancy costs and increasing competition from larger retailers and ecommerce players. This is a great opportunity for Centre Management teams to engage with their retail tenants at a new level, adopting them more as ‘customers’ than ever before,” she said.

“Proactive shopping centres are really starting to see the value in upskilling and supporting their retailers with a variety of training, consulting and mentoring programs. It’s more than just providing those struggling with a quick rent relief, it’s about long term business ‘fitness’ for the retailer and increased tenancy for the centre. A win-win in our view.”

Harbour Town Adelaide is just one of the centres that have jumped on board and invested in a retailer support program.

“Great customer service is just one of the many things that sets physical stores apart from their online counterparts and we’re keen to ensure that Harbour Town remains at the forefront of providing exceptional customer experiences,” Harbour Town national marketing manager Angela Gore said.

“Offering a competitive edge is crucial to our success and while we already offer big brand items at low prices, reinforcing our high levels of customer service provides with an extra point of difference creating a compelling package for shoppers” says Angela.

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