“Not enough land” for big box chains

Home-hub-large-format-centreLarge Format Retail Association CEO Philippa Kelly says an extra 61,400 jobs would be created in NSW over the next seven (7) years by big box retailers, ‘if restrictive planning laws’ are overhauled by the State Government.

Large Format Retail Association members include the likes of Harvey Norman, Ikea, JB Hi-Fi, Super Retail Group and Beacon Lighting.

Kelly said the industry would be able to deliver an employment boom to NSW under a more favourable policy environment and that “in NSW there is no clear definition of the sector in legislation unlike other states like Victoria, South Australia or Western Australia”, which she said gave the states a competitive advantage.

“Despite projections of Sydney needing another 725,000 homes by 2036, there is not enough land being dedicated to the sector which would be able to provide a these necessary jobs,” said Kelly.

The large format sector comprises 30 per cent of all retail space according to Kelly.

“Despite this, we have not even rated a mention from the Greater Sydney Commission in its draft District Plans,” said Kelly.

“With some simple tweaks to policy, and through proper planning, our economic projections show that by 2025 Large Format Retail would contribute an additional 61,400 jobs to the NSW economy.

“This number would help turbocharge the NSW economy and there’s not many industries which could match that number without a dollar of government assistance.”

The NSW Large Format Retail sector currently occupies over 6.6 million square metres of floorspace and provides 142,700 full time equivalent  direct and indirect jobs.

The sector hopes to secure 2.74 million square metres of additional floorspace by 2025, the equivalent of approximately 20 additional homemaker centres supplying an additional 61,400 direct and indirect jobs.

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