Freo's View



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A new discount clothing shop has opened at Fremantle’s Kings Square, so welcome to FACTORIE at Adelaide Street just opposite St John’s church!

Check it out and support all our local traders and in particular those around Kings Square who are impacted by the development.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, perth, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 22, 2018


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I lasted just over an hour in Perth this morning as I find the CBD there rather boring.

I was surprised how quiet it was and how many vagrants were lurking around, and there were ample retail vacancies and for lease signs all over the place. Buskers played amplified music way too loud and so did some of the cafes.

Most of the new buildings under construction are average or worse, and the inappropriateness in context to heritage buildings is staggering.

The saving grace was the gorgeous tranquil architecture of the Cadogan Singing School at St George’s cathedral, and the stunning new Perth Library where window cleaners were doing a high trapeze act.

So happy to be back in Fremantle. It’s far from perfect, but so much more beautiful than the Perth CBD.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, shopping, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2018


I had the exclusive on Friday to announce that Linda Wayman had been appointed chair of the new Fremantle Destination Marketing advisory group, and today the City of Fremantle disclosed all the expert members, so here they are:

# Karl Bullers-owner of the National Hotel and chair of Fremantle BID.

# Olwyn Williams-CEO of Fremantle Chamber of Commerce.

# Abby McDowell-Marketing Manager of the Esplanade Hotel.

# Chris Lewis-Director of Fremantle Press.

# Paula Nelson-Director of Fremantle Prison.

# Kate Hullet- Director of MANY 2.0


Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, local government, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2018


Fremantle Council will investigate if it is realistic, fair and feasible to charge owners of vacant commercial properties higher rates to encourage them to lower rents.

Owners of retail properties which have been vacant for more than a year could be penalised with higher rates to try to stop the increasing retail vacancies in Fremantle.

While lower rents might encourage a few more people to take the risk and open up shop it should be noticed that the downward trend in retail is state and nation wide and all over the world.

One also has to be careful to encourage naive people who have done no market research to open up shop in Fremantle, as we constantly see small businesses opening, but then closing again within a year because they simply can’t make a living out of their business.

Fremantle’s major problem is that it is mainly a weekend shopping destination and shops might as well close the shutters Monday to Wednesday when there are only a handful of people around.

We know that everyone accuses ‘greedy’ landlords, but the problems are much more complicated than that and an ad hoc increase in rates also penalises those landlords who would love to fill their vacant spaces with new businesses. Pop ups are cute, but not a long term solution for a worldwide problem.

To introduce something like this now when the Kings Square development is going on is all wrong. Who in their right mind would want to open a new business when the CBD is in a mess?

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, clothes, fashion, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 18, 2018


academy brand


The Academy Brand has opened its new store for men’s fashion on the corner of the High Street mall and Market Street in Fremantle. Go check it out!

Roel Loopers



Anyone blaming Fremantle Council for the decline in retail and the many vacant shops in our port city should take note of an article in The Guardian newspaper that reports that UK shoppers are deserting the ‘high street’ in greater numbers than during the 2009 recession.

The Guardian reports that several big brand retailers in the UK are in receivership with a massive number of shops closing.

High street visits declined 3.3% in April, according to the BRC-Springboard monthly tracker, which also highlighted nearly one in 10 town centre shops are lying empty. The drop in footfall came on the back of a disastrous performance in March, when shopper numbers declined by 6%. Taken together there has been an unprecedented 4.8% drop over the two months – a bigger decline than was recorded in the same months of 2009 when the UK was mired in recession.

The question developers in Fremantle need to ask if this trend can be turned around and if new city centre based shopping centres like the FOMO retail concept at Kings Square by Sirona Capital will attract more shoppers away from the urban sterile shopping centres, that are now also changing direction and want to recreate the town square in shopping centres to make them more appealing to the community.

Roel Loopers



Sirona Capital Managing Director Matthew McNeilly and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt with the directory



The Kings Square Fremantle Business Directory is a joint initiative by the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital to support Fremantle traders who are affected by the Kings Square Redevelopment Project.

The directory is being distributed to more than 15,000 households in the Fremantle area to promote the diverse range of retail and food and beverage offerings surrounding Kings Square.

The 44 page booklet is designed to support local traders through the construction period of arguably the most important redevelopment project in the port city’s history.

The business directory, which includes vouchers and promotion of businesses adjacent to Kings Square is one of many ways the City and Sirona have supported local traders since the project commenced late last year.

Other initiatives have included:

# one hour free on-street parking in surrounding streets
# directional signage and site fence advertising with ‘Shop local and support Freo traders’ messaging
# bunting and pole wraps to attract people and showcase the Kings Square retail precinct
# free parking permits for customers of businesses directly affected by the recent Queen Street road closures
# regular face-to-face contact with traders to share information and discuss ideas for promoting the area
# a series of ‘trader forums’ where local businesses receive project updates and can provide feedback and ask questions of project staff
# free advertising space for local businesses in construction workforce lunchrooms
# free custom designed outdoor signage for eligible local businesses.

Construction of the new buildings will commence soon and that means hundreds of workers in Fremantle, so hopefully that too will support our struggling local traders!

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on May 4, 2018


MANY 2.0 birthday party



Fremantle retail incubator MANY 2.0 is celebrating its first anniversary in the new location in the former Spotlight building in Adelaide Street this Saturday with a party from 5-8pm.

MANY had to move out of the former MYER building at Kings Square last year to make way for the redevelopment there.

Go check out all the lovely shops and the cafe and support our local small businesses.

Roel Loopers



Posted in backpackers, city of fremantle, clothes, fashion, hospitality, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2018


academy brand


A brand new clothing shop will open in Fremantle soon. The Academy Brand will be offering clean and classic men’s and boys clothing from their Market Street shop on the corner of the High Street mall.

The Academy Brand was established in 2007 with a boutique at Bondi Beach and now has several shops in New South Wales and also one in Brisbane.

The brand is very popular here in Australia and New Zealand, so gents go and check it out.




While walking down High Street I noticed men putting up the sign at the Orient Hotel for the retrospective change of use to tavern at the Fremantle Beach Backpackers upstairs.

I don’t know if that will mean the end of the hostel or if the tavern will be an addition for the backpackers and in competition with the Orient.

Roel Loopers


Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2018


I have been thinking a bit about the push for Destination Marketing Fremantle, which would likely mean the end of Fremantle BID, and why there is a sense of urgency when we hear that Tom Griffiths, the present Manager Economic Development and Marketing, will be leaving the City of Fremantle.

There is no doubt that the new marketing manager will have her/his own thoughts about retail versus destination marketing, or a combination of both, so would it not make more sense for Fremantle Council to wait with its decision until a new marketing manager has been appointed and our elected members can find out from that new officer which direction (s)he wants to go with a new marketing strategy?

I agree with critics that BID has not worked as well as it could have. It connected Freo’s traders well but failed to have a big picture approach, but let’s also be clear that BID specifically was created for the CBD retailers and hospitality traders. But I also believe that the City’s Fremantle Story is not a great marketing campaign because it too did a lot of small things and there is far too much and hard to find information on that website.

Destination marketing will attract people to Fremantle, but an essential part of it needs to be to communicate with visitors what they can do in Fremantle every day, but also on the specific day(s) they are here. That has been lacking forever and it needs to change, so that people will linger longer in Fremantle. Getting back to basics with a What’s On In Freo Today might just be the start.

Starting a new marketing strategy just months before a new marketing manager will be appointed makes no sense, so Council should be very careful not to rush a decision about Destination Marketing Fremantle prematurely.

Roel Loopers

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