Freo's View

FREO CITY SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, shopping, tourism, traders, Uncategorized by freoview on August 21, 2019

 

The City of Fremantle has committed to continue with the delivery of its Business Capacity Building Program after the successful pilot program earlier this year.

The program provides small businesses in Fremantle access to subsidised training, support and one-on-one mentoring.

The City will continue to partner with independent small business advocates Freo Now and local business support organisation Business Foundations.

The City has also teamed up with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council WA to diversify the support on offer and provide alternative ways for businesses to engage with the program. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said that there are lots of positive signs for Fremantle’s economy and some exciting developments on the horizon, but that the City recognises that it will take some time for small business to feel the benefits of it.

In recognition of the importance of growing the tourism sector, the City will be delivering three workshops facilitated by Tourism Council WA exclusively for Fremantle tourism businesses.

The workshops will focus on taking advantage of the global travel distribution system, which enables businesses to establish connections with wholesaler and travel agents to promote their products nationally and internationally.

The dates for the tourism workshops are still to be finalised but it’s likely they’ll be held in October, November and December this year.

Following a successful trial during the pilot period, the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will deliver a series of ‘Set the Month in Motion’ workshops and podcasts throughout the year.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Danicia Quinlan said the program would help small businesses to develop strategies to overcome the current economic headwinds.

In addition to mentoring and training, the Capacity Building Program also provides the Fremantle business community with access to the online grant portal, the Fremantle Funding Finder.

Powered by GrantGuru, the portal lists the grants and funding opportunities being offered by a range of agencies throughout Australia.

To apply for support through the Business Capacity Building Program or for information regarding upcoming workshops visit the Business Capacity Building page on the City of Fremantle website.

 

Roel Loopers

NEW AUSSIE MARKETS FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, markets, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on August 9, 2019

 

Markets

 

I noticed the signs for the all new TRUE BLUE MARKETS this morning where the Pine Warehouse opposite the Fremantle Mrkets used to be.

It will be good to see that retail space activated again. This from the website:

True Blue Australia is one of Australia’s largest manufacturers of postcards, greeting cards and locally produced souvenirs. Products featuring photographs by Annette Kent are produced for almost every town in Australia. True Blue also has their own kilns to produce glass and clay jewellery, platters, art glass and awards.

Many Aboriginal Artists from the Perth metropolitan area and regional WA produce paintings, artefacts, jewellery and souvenirs at their communities and the True Blue workshop.

Roel Loopers

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WHEN FOMO MEETS MANY-AT FREO’S KINGS SQUARE

 

I received the exciting information below from SPACEMARKET about the FOMO retail at Fremantle’s Kings Square:

We’ve been working with Sirona Capital on an incredible new concept within the FOMO FREO Kings Square precinct, right in the heart of Freo. It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen before in WA. This includes (drum roll) the return of MANY to its original home, with a beautiful new MANY Emporium spread across the lower ground floor— and as you’d expect, The Emporium will be full of your favourite local and independent businesses.

Alongside MANY, within the impressive open-plan shopping area bathed in natural light from the sweeping, skylit ceiling, we envision a sexy little wine bar, food offerings, a gorgeous beauty and wellness space, plus a heavy sprinkling of other lovely things. Think; flowers, conti rolls, a beaut bottle of wine, house plants, books, stationary….

Off the back of MANY 6160, which opened in 2013, Sirona have committed to continue the concept of borderless, open-plan retail. We’re equally committed to ensuring a dynamic mix of businesses trading right here in Freo, and are gunning to ensure the space is the opposite experience of a generic big box shopping centre.

This is where you come in!

When we launch in April 2020, we want to showcase the best of the best at FOMO FREO, and we’d love you to help us spread the word. There will be space available in our impressive lower ground level, but also street floor tenancies which face the newly revitalised Kings Square, library and civic centre.

From a retail perspective, this feels like an unmissable opportunity. Population and parking are often named as key barriers to small business success in WA — here in FOMO, we’ll have 2,000 office workers relocating into the upper levels (also planned for April 2020), and another 1,000 in neighbouring refurbished offices. And parking? There’ll be 600 bays right out the back.

Obviously, we’ve got a dream hit list of brilliant operators who we’d love to join us in this venture, but of course there will be many more out there who we don’t yet know about. We’d love them to be involved too! We’re calling on; barbers, specialist fashion shops, glasses and sunglasses boutiques, menswear designers, gorgeous homewares and lifestyle purveyors, fabulous florists, grocers, whole foods, art prints, YOU NAME IT. Bring us your best Perth.

Brilliant, enthusiastic and high quality operators – contact Kate@spacemarket.com.auor sarah@spacemarket.com.au (immediately!) for more info and to arrange a site visit.

 

Roel Loopers

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FREO LANDING ON THE MOON STATIONARY

Posted in city of fremantle, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on August 6, 2019

 

 

Port Stationary

 

When I mentioned all the long-established businesses in Fremantle last week I forgot to mention Port Stationary in the west end of High Street.

I walked by there today and saw this sign stating the business has been with us since the landing on the moon 50 years ago so that is very impressive.

Roel Loopers

 

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on August 4, 2019

 

down

 

Another one bites the dust. It is a real shame to see another retailer closing its doors in Adelaide Street at Fremantle’s Kings Square, but as major retailer David Jones stated Australia is in a retail recession and that is impacting on all major shopping destinations in the Perth metro area.

I hear it is a serious challenge for developers in Fremantle to fill new retail and hospitality spaces and that a popular health food restaurant might also be on the verge of closing down because it is barely making enough money to pay the rent.

The Fremantle community needs to support our local traders or more will be forced to close shop!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE DOWN BUT NOT OUT!

 

walk 3

 

When things are down we have to remind ourselves of the good things as well, so I was thinking about the demise of Fremantle traders, the hardship of many retailers and the increasing vacancies of shops. Yep, we all know the problems are not unique to Fremantle and similar issues are happening in other parts of metropolitan Perth and WA,  but that does not help anyone.

What might be better for Fremantle though is to talk up our city’s uniqueness and achievements instead of having constant negativity in the news media, so I was thinking about all those iconic Freo traders who have been here seemingly ‘forever’.

I am sure my list is incomplete so please add all those long-term surviving traders I have overlooked.

The oldest shoe shop in metro Perth is Bodkin’s Bootery in Freo’s west end High Street, Bousfield and Warrens menswear have been here for as long as I know, and so has Ruocco’s pizza, the Capri, Culley’s, the news agency in the mall, Cicerello’s, Galati’s, Franks, the South Fremantle fish&chips.

Top that with the Sail&Anchor, National, Orient and Federal hotels, the Norfolk, Little Creatures and Newport, the Local and South Beach Hotel, the Tradeswind, Esplanade and Federal hotels, and the Fremantle Markets.

The Moore&Moore cafe has been open for more than ten years and so has the old Roma, that closed for a while but reopened. The Attic is still going well and so are Gino’s, Chalky’s, Picollo’s, and Duck Duck Bruce in Collie Street have been doing so well that they are opening a new second place in Bannister Street.

Kennedy’s the barber is also going well, and while Norm Wrightson’s will be closing  due to the Manning building development it has been THE iconic Freo barber for ages. And let’s not forget Bitches Brew the framers and art gallery, Kakula’s Sister,  and Japingka Gallery and Megan Salmon’s fashion shop.

The Manning building development with a new tavern, brewery and distillery will be great and so will be the Police&Justice complex tourist attraction with hotel, FOMO at Kings Square will offer a whole new shopping and hospitality experience, and a few new hotels  and residential apartment buildings will pop up in the centre of Freo over the next years as well

It might often feel as if Fremantle is on it’s knees but the fight is not over by a long way, and Freo people and traders know how to fight and the community knows how to support one another. We’ll get through these tough times by telling ourselves and others that Freo is a pretty outstanding place to visit, shop and live. We can do it Freo!

SHOP AND HAVE FUN IN FREO!

 

Roel Loopers

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UNFAIR TO BLAME LOCAL COUNCILS FOR RETAIL DECLINE

 

Kings Square

 

It is rather hypocritical for Bill Marmion to berate Fremantle Council about economic development in his letter in the West Australian on Thursday. Has Mr Marmion forgotten that he was a minister in the Barnett government that created the biggest billions of dollars debt in the history of Western Australia?

Fremantle Council has in fact been proactive for ten years to start the economic recovery with encouraging developers to start building in the CBD, and that is happening with the LIV and Heirloom residential developments now occupied and with four hotels approved at the Woolstores shopping centre, the former Point Street carpark site, the Police&Justice complex and another one at the Warders Cottages next to Fremantle Markets. And the Kings Square Redevelopment Project is on track and will open in the first quarter of next year with a creative new retail concept called FOMO.

A new Destination Marketing campaign for Fremantle was launched two months ago, but retailers must adjust to the changing shopping trends instead of blaming local councils for the decline of retail. Some Freo traders still have boring window displays as if it’s the 1960s and refuse to modernise their shop fronts and customer service.

There is plenty of parking in Fremantle Bill Marmion with over 5,000 bays plus a new carpark coming on line next year in Parry Street.

The world changes, and while Fremantle Council is far from perfect and often frustrates me they are well ahead of other local councils in the economic rebirth game.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CHAMBER REJECTS WEST AUSTRALIAN CLAIMS

 

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce has hit back at The West Australians article that casts doubt on Fremantle’s economic growth potential and position.

In a media release the FCOC wrote:

Unlike many urban centres in Australia, Fremantle is currently experiencing unprecedented investment and renewal underway, with the combined value of private and public investment in the pipeline totaling more than $1.3 billion.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is actively connecting, uniting and assisting in the growth of a successful and vibrant business community that builds on Fremantle’s unique advantage, its heritage and its maritime focus.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Danicia Quinlan said: “Fremantle, like most urban centres, is affected by the current wave of societal change in the way people gather, shop, dine, interact commercially and manage environmental challenges. Learning from other Councils, or even other cities locally,mand internationally, is an important way to navigate our way through these changes. We need Fremantle Councillors and the Mayor to be an active part of trying to find ways to manage all of these complex challenges.”

And more feedback from Fremantle traders:

The damage The West Australian is doing to Fremantle and its businesses far surpasses any perceived damage by council. Fremantle Markets is running at full occupancy with over 56,000 visitors last weekend for the 3 days period. Feedback from traders was “sales were excellent”.

Councils everywhere are going through a difficult time, however, the City of Fremantle Economic Development team and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce regularly engage with businesses and continue to make many great improvements to the city” .

Natasha Atkinson – Chief Executive Officer Fremantle Markets and Winner Business News 2019 40 Under 40

Our focus is on Fremantle with our affordable and green residential developments. Our projects generally achieve an equity internal rate between 15-30% and we don’t see this slowing. Fremantle business has a great future as we focus on building on our competitive advantage of heritage, environmental consciousness and community spirit”.

Tao Bourton, Fremantle’s Yolk Property Group Director

It is exciting to see so many new businesses have decided to invest their potential in Fremantle not only for today, but for many years to come. We look forward to working together to build a unique and vibrant business community.”

Ivan Dezba, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce President and Managing Director, Benny’s

People more cynical than I am might well suggest the constant attacks on shopping in local councils are a PR exercise to promote urban shopping centres, from where more advertising dollars can be obtained than from the traditional High Street shopping destinations.

One week we read and see that all is wrong and violent in Cockburn, then it is Rockingham, Fremantle, Subiaco, Mount Lawley, Leederville, Perth, etc.

Is it PR, is it political to give less power to local councils, or is it just lazy journalism during slow news cycles?

A West End cafe owner told me that last Friday, Saturday and Sunday had been some of the busiest days they have experienced. Maybe it is time for the West and its sister TV and radio stations to be more balanced and allow Freo’s positive stories to come out in the open instead of always focusing on the negative aspects.

Roel Loopers

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WEST AUSTRALIAN ATTACK ON FREMANTLE

Posted in carbon, city of fremantle, community, environment, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on July 17, 2019

 

Dual and strong attacks on Fremantle and Mayor Brad Pettitt in today’s West Australian.

In his column Paul Murray writes that the City of Fremantle has claimed carbon neutral status when that can’t be substantiated, because they did not follow the rules and did not have an independent audit every three years.

This comes, according to Paul Murray, after a Murdoch University student who is doing a masters in renewable and sustainable energy, started asking questions about Fremantle’s claim of carbon neutrality.

Student Martin Lee is quite well known in Freo because he also was very critical about the Kings Square business plan many years ago. Lee was told by the City of Fremantle that it will finally engage a consultant to do their first carbon neutral audit this financial year. That is pretty damaging for the reputation of our council!

The second article is an attack by local Freo traders on Mayor Brad Pettitt, claiming the Mayor is more interested in a moral crusade about social issues and the environment than looking after the City’s economic welfare and declining retail.

While I am often very skeptical about the One Planet priorities at Fremantle Council I believe the elected members have been pro-actively trying to turn Freo’s economy around with the Kings Square redevelopment project, Planning Scheme Amendment 49 that encouraged developers to build residential and commercial medium rise buildings in the CBD, and the new destination marketing launch that is now promoting Fremantle more substantially.

Retailers all over the Perth metro area from Mount Lawley to Leederville, Subiaco, Perth, etc. complain about similar things; parking too expensive or not enough parking bays, antisocial behaviour and homeless people. There is very little local councils can do about homeless people and antisocial behaviour but Fremantle has improved its safety officers program and they are out on the streets every day from early to late.

While I would like to see Fremantle Council focus more on the day to day practical issues our city faces and change some of its priorities I do not believe that traders should be blaming Fremantle Council and its Mayor for the huge issues retailer face all over Australia and the world. There is no doubt that there is a retail and a homelessness crisis, but the power of local governments to tangibly do something about that is very limited.

In that context it is interesting to read that the $ 750 million Garden City extension work has been stopped by the builder.

Roel Loopers

 

RETAIL DECLINE A HUGE WORRY FOR OUR CITIES

 

Recent media reports in the West Australian and on TV news show that retail is severely struggling in Perth and that Fremantle’s worries are not unique in that regard. Of course that is cold comfort to our Freo traders.

The same complaints Fremantle traders make are made by Perth traders; parking costs, antisocial behaviour and homelessness.

According to one news outlet one in five shops are vacant in the Perth CBD, so that is even higher than in Fremantle, with one trader saying that they were experiencing the worst trading conditions in a decade, with whole days of no sales and no customers entering the shop.

The sad fact is that there is a lot of on-line shopping and that many people prefer the sterile all-weather comfort of shopping centres where there is little antisocial behaviour, no homeless people and three-hour free parking.

In summer shoppers escape to the cool airconditioned comfort of suburban shopping centres, which keep them warm and dry in winter, so that is something old-fashion High Street shopping can’t offer.

While free parking might be an option for big and wealthy Perth council a small city such as Fremantle is reliant on parking fees and parking fines revenue. Fremantle Council would have to substantially raise council rates if it introduced free parking.

Fremantle could however offer free weekday night parking to try to attract more people into town in the evenings.

What the demise of retail will mean for the FOMO retail concept at Kings Square, that will open mid next year, is yet to be seen, but don’t expect miracles in the short term.

There is no point in not supporting local traders but then complain that retail shops, cafes and restaurants close and that so many shops are vacant, so support our Freo traders!

Roel Loopers

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