After 17 months of declining trade, Myer has decided to rebuild its Hobart store to give the city’s retail sector a much needed boost.

The development of a flagship store will see Myer dedicate multiple storeys to their store while leaving additional floor space for specialty retailers to set up shop.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Tasmanian spokesperson Damon Thomas said the new store will hopefully help Hobart bring traffic back for surrounding retailers who have been hit hard over the past year and a half with a worrying decline in retail sales.

“The opening of a flagship store not only generates excitement for and visitation to the store itself, but will also give people a new reason to visit the city of Hobart and reignite interest in the shopping experience, which can only mean good things for surrounding retailers,” he said.

The latest ABS figures show a year-on-year sales decline in Tasmania of 2.8 per cent in May 2011 compared to May 2010.

“Among the reasons for this disastrous year for retailers is an increase in household budget pressures while retail trade slumps and the cost of doing business soars,” Thomas said.

The store is expected to open in 2013.