Freo's View

PROMOTE WEST END RETAIL BETTER!

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 23, 2017

 

The monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel on Monday had three speakers, so I will split up the reporting on it and start with High Street retailer Gaelle Beech of the ANJEL MS ethical fashion shop.

Gaelle’s talk was inspiring as it was not the typical whinge we get from too many in the community, but it was more about why we don’t sell the unique beauty of Fremantle and especially the gorgeous heritage High Street better as a shopping destination.

High Street is one of the most gorgeous shopping precincts in Australia that ends at Bathers Beach, so why don’t we promote that better?

“We don’t treasure enough what we have got in Fremantle and forget to show the beauty of it to our visitors” Gaelle rightly said.

The West End is unique but many visitors don’t even know where High Street is and there is no retail map showing the diversity of shopping.

We need West End traders to work together and not individually, and we need you as the community to support us she said.

High Street needs more vibrancy with buskers and art, and traders and City of Fremantle marketing should not assume everyone knows about us.

Gaelle Beech said she loves Fremantle and would not have a shop anywhere else in Perth. She also has an outlet at Fremantle Markets on weekends.

ANJEL MS specialises in ethical fashion and supports young designers in Katmandu, India and Bali, so go and check it out and support our struggling local traders.

“We have an amazing city! Which shopping centre has a beach at the end of it! Gaelle said with passion and I could not agree more.

She got laughter and applause when a Notre Dame University student lamented that it cost them $ 1,200 a year in parking. “You are young, walk and use public transport” she encouraged. Yes indeed!

Roel Loopers

FREO BAN THE BAG IS BACK

Posted in city of fremantle, environment, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 27, 2017

Fremantle Council decided last night to ban the use of plastic shopping bags. This is the third time in five years Council is giving it a try as the previous W.A. Liberal/National government rejected the proposal in 2012 and 2015, but the new Labor government have indicated they would support local councils banning non-degradable plastic shopping bags.

Already other councils have started the same process and Councillor Doug Thompson said that a survey showed that 32 councils support banning the environment-damaging bags.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton pointed out that it was about the material of the bags and that degradable bags could still be supplied to customers.

Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said Council should campaign for the general reduction of the use of plastic as it was extensively used. She is right. Single pieces of fruit and vegetables are offered on trays wrapped in plastic by supermarkets, which is not only wasteful but also damaging to the environment.

Roel Loopers

GOOD FRIDAY FREO FUN DAY

Posted in fishing, fremantle, hospitality, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 14, 2017

 

The boring Good Fridays of the past are over in Fremantle and most cafes are open for business and were busy already just after nine this morning.

I have never seen so many people fishing on the South Mole as today, with (illegal) parking on both sides full.

Supermarkets are closed but the great Peaches in South Freo is open and so are the Fremantle Markets and the Fishing Boat Harbour traders.

The Fremantle International Street Arts Festival is on at the Esplanade from 12-5 pm and there is live music at J Shed from midday and a pancake stall to have some yummy food.

Just go for a wander and explore beautiful old Freo and find more traders open for business.

Roel Loopers

FREO BID NEEDS PRIVATE BACKERS

Posted in bid, business, city of fremantle, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 13, 2017

The Fremantle Business Improvement District-BID will be extended by another three years, but subject to yearly performance criteria.

The City of Fremantle charges CBD businesses an additional differential ‘city centre commercial rate’ and BID will receive $ 356,394.00 for the next financial year to promote and assist inner city traders.

I believe the real issue for BID is to get substantial additional funding because nearly two-third of the money they receive from Fremantle City goes to paying staff, office rent and outgoings, so not much is left to support our traders.

It will have to be seen if private operators are willing to back BID with additional funding, because if not the future of BID is going to be shaky.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREO BID NEEDS PRIVATE BACKERS

GO VISIT THE NEW FREO MANY 2.0!

Posted in fremantle, retail, shopping by freoview on April 7, 2017

 

Don’t forget to go and visit the new MANY 2.0 that relocated from Kings Square to the former Spotlight building at Adelaide Street next to Target in Fremantle.

This retail incubator is full of great surprises and gifts and has so many eclectic wares to choose from.

It is a real pleasure to browse through the large but cosy space and check out all they have on sale. There is also a hairdresser and a cafe, and if that is not enough why not try out the fantastic Thai food at The Loft cafe on the corner of Point Street, just down the road from MANY 2.0.

And there is an Opening Party this Saturday from 5-9 pm!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on GO VISIT THE NEW FREO MANY 2.0!

VACANT SHOPS A MAJOR PROBLEM

Posted in city of fremantle, economy, hospitality, retail by freoview on April 2, 2017

A report in the Sunday Times today shows that the accusations against Fremantle Council not looking after its retailers well enough and that parking problems keep shoppers away are hot air.

The new Perth Labor MP wants a City Summit because of the dire retail economy in the big smoke, which shows Fremantle’s retail problems are neither unique nor to blame on Council.

Of the 950 shops in the Perth CBD 150 are vacant at a 16 per cent vacancy rate. Along Barrack Street and St George’s Terrace a staggering one in five shops are empty, so it does not look well at all.

We know that retailers in Subiaco and elsewhere have also been struggling for years, so this problems is all over the Perth metropolitan area.

Yesterday the West Australian reported that many restaurants are closing in Perth as well and that shows that we need to do more for tourism, conventions, festivals, etc. and can no longer rely on the patchy mining industry that booms and busts often and lacks the stability our retailers and hospitality industry need.

It is unfair to lay blame for the economy on individual local councils as there is clearly a bigger picture at play well outside the power of local government.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S MANY 2.0 IS EVEN BETTER!

Posted in fremantle, retail, shopping by freoview on March 17, 2017

Fremantle has a fantastic new large retail outlet in the former Spotlight building at Adelaide Street next to Target. MANY 2.0 is the incubator for independent small businesses that started as Many 6160 in the former Meyer building at Kings Square in 2013, but had to relocate due to the Kings Square project development.

I like the more compact and cohesive MANY 2.0 retail collective in the new location better than at Kings Square as it looks more lively and like a nicely crowded creative market place that invites to browse and discover cute innovative things.

There is so much to look at and buy so MANY 2.0 should be one of your first destinations if you are looking for gifts for someone. There is bric-a-brac, art, fashion, craft, designers, a hair dresser, cafe, hats and a large variety of other quirky and funky things.

MANY 2.0 is open Thursdays to Sundays but they are already talking about probably opening another day because there are many more people in the area than at Kings Square.

Go and check it out and support local small retailers!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE SAFER FOR SHOPPERS

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, crime, law&order, retail by freoview on March 9, 2017

 

The Fremantle BID concierge initiative in the Atwell and Manning High Street malls has been very successful according to the latest figures from Triparty.

  • Anti-social behaviour was recorded 27 times in September 2016, but it was zero in January 2017.
  • Begging of 24 cases recorded in September ’16 was down to 6 in January ’17.
  • Busking went down from 12 in Sept to only 1 in January.
  • Street drinking went down from 5 recorded cases in September to 0 in January.
  • Shop lifting came down from 15 cases in September to just 1 in January.
  •  Sleepers/homeless people down from 16 in September 2016 to only 1 in January 2017.

These are remarkable figures that show that the right actions do make Fremantle a safer place to visit and shop in.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE’S EXCITING MODERN FUTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, economy, retail, shopping, tourism by freoview on March 8, 2017

There was a rather exciting BID-Business Improvement District meeting at the National Hotel on Wednesday evening that spelled out the future of the Fremantle inner city, and I was very impressed.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was important that the business community engaged with the City and that they went on the journey together.

Pettitt admitted the next 3 years are going to be challenging for inner city traders because of the disruptions caused by the massive development at Kings Square and elsewhere in the CBD.

The Mayor said it was disappointing that the Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site will now only start in the first quarter of next year, so that is another lengthy delay.

The more I see of Gerard O’Brien, the boss of Fremantle developers Silverleaf, the more I like his no-nonsense approach and straight-forward message that Fremantle only has a three-year window before Garden City will more than double in size.

“We need to keep moving as we have suffered big time in Fremantle”, O’Brien said. “We need to get our act together and support each other as a community and Council. It needs to be a team effort!”

Silverleaf has huge plans for Fremantle and O’Brien said that they are only the custodians and want to leave something behind that all of Freo can be proud off, not just a glass box.

O’Brien then revealed his plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site and that is very exciting for Fremantle. The development is 26,000 square metres.

There will be an Adina Hotel, commercial floorspace and -hallelujah!- student accommodation! Plus a shopping centre at ground level and underground parking.

Coles will keep trading during the construction period and Gerard O’Brien believed that was essential to keep attracting shoppers into the inner city.

O’Brien said the design of the building pays tribute to the heritage and pays homage to the environment the new building will be in.

I quite like the old&new architecture with red bricks at ground level and vertical cladding similar to the new Perth library and theatre buildings, while the levels above that are very modern, but quite striking and minimalist.

The entire roof will be solar panels, which O’Brien said was a good investment, while the windows will be double-glazed and have new technology in them that will keep out the sun and keep the interior cool. I am impressed!

Silverleaf will also be developing “ the beautiful piece of history” former police and courthouse complex and Warders Cottages at Henderson Street into three-star history tourist accommodation with 64 rooms. It will also have a market place open space and four different concepts that are all about tourism.

New BID CEO Tim Milsom said the transformation of Fremantle is about to happen and that Silverleaf could develop anywhere in the world but chooses to do so in Fremantle.

Milsom said BID have plans for a creative hub and an aspirational business mix but O’Brien said that Fremantle has enough specialty stores.

Milsom said we need to find out from the community and visitors what is missing in Fremantle and what will bring people back. For example there is no hardware store in Freo anymore.

There is no bakery or butcher or corner deli in the CBD either, but more than a dozen new shops will open in Fremantle soon, so that is more good news.

Many 6160 are moving from the former Myer building at Kings Square to the former Spotlight building next to Target and are due to open next week.

I put my neck on the line and say that this is very good news for Fremantle and that we are on the right track to create a great vibrant city where hundreds of tourists will stay over night, eat, drink and shop and where we will finally have many students living in the inner city.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREMANTLE’S EXCITING MODERN FUTURE

GREAT SHOPPING IN FREO’S WEST END

Posted in fremantle, heritage, retail, shopping by freoview on March 1, 2017

 

High Street in Fremantle’s historic West End is the most beautiful street in Western Australia in my opinion.

It is also a fantastic old-style high street shopping experience that has a sense of wonderment about it. If it had a roof over it it would be one of the world’s most stunning shopping arcades.

There is such a large variety of traders in the Goldrush period buildings that I thought to mention them all, because there are probably quite a few you don’t know about:

  • The National and Orient hotels, Lapa Brazilian restaurant, Roma Cucina Italian restaurant.
  • Chalkys, Blink, Hush, Breakers, High Street Dispensary, Piccolo, Cafe 55, Quinlans, and Common Grind cafes.
  • Japingka, Adam Monk, Artisan Store galleries.
  • New Edition and the Second Hand bookshops

and there is a whole lot more!

Clara Beauty, Remedy, Bousfield, Adulshop, the Police station, Notre Dame University, Enzo D’Allessandro hairdresser, Djurra, Ugg Australia shoes, Three Stories fashion, Common Ground fashion, Fremantle Beach and the Sundance backpackers, Printline, Bitches Brew framers, Unique Hair, Bodkins Bootery, Anjel MS fashion and Fremantle Art Space, Kartique. Ame Belle fashion, Port Stationary, Dreske Somoff leather, Tuart Place social services, Australian Maritime Officers Union, West Coast Cruise&Travel Centre, High Street Chemist, Haute on High fashion, Lee’s newsagency, Compendium, Ancient Earth, Lavita hairdresser, Finishing Touch gallery, Rialto Apartments, The Record Finder with two shops, Port Jarrah furniture, Absolutely Adult, the Buffalo and Navy clubs, ACAI Bros raw food, Brazilian Butterfly beauty, Miss Chats Bar.

You still want to argue there is no shopping variety in Fremantle? This is just one street full with it!

To top it all off Freo’s most gorgeous street ends at WA’s oldest public building the Roundhouse and the lovely Bathers Beach.

It is anyone’s guess why the City of Fremantle and BID don’t do more to promote High Street as a great shopping experience that has character, is very Freo, and very different from the sterile shopping boredom in the major centres.

Roel Loopers

%d bloggers like this: