More movement in the street

A quick wander around the streets of Wynnum central shows quite a lot of change in the retail landscape – some new faces arriving and some older ones leaving.

In Edith Street, both the toy shop and the hardware store moved out a few months ago (see previous story here), although the shop between where the hardware store had been and (WynnumCentral Member) With Relish cafe, which had been vacant for over eight years, now has a new occupant – New Leaf.

Bay Terrace also has some changes happening – Crazy Clarks is due to close at the end of this month (although this is probably not related to trading conditions in Wynnum alone, as The Australian newspaper reported last week that the whole chain has gone into administration). The Salvation Army store is preparing to move out of its current shop into the larger one next door, which used to be Dollars & Sense, and the flower shop in Bay Terrace has moved from its shop on the east side of the street and is now sharing space with Dolls & Doilies on the other side.

There is also a new conveyancing specialist law firm opening up next to LJ Hooker in Bay Terrace, and Vinnies have vacated their old shop in Bay Terrace and are moving into one of the empty shops in Edith Street. This is where a new development will be going up – see this piece from the Sunday Mail online last Sunday.

Given that most of these shop moves are within Wynnum Central, there is no net increase in stores, in fact the new (and very smart looking) jewellery and fashion shop Edelweiss, that opened in Florence Street, has already closed its doors. Wynnum is yet to find its mojo, and, although retail is having a tough time generally, Wynnum we believe is suffering more than most.

WynnumCentral and the Wynnum & Districts Chamber of Commerce is planning to launch a new initiative shortly, called Wynnum Creative Spaces, which – if embraced by landlords in Wynnum – has a good chance of breathing new life into the shopping area.

The program will closely follow the example of the project that renewed the centre of Newcastle in NSW, taking it from a largely empty shopping area, to the vibrant hub it is now, all within the space of a few years. Newcastle was also listed recently in the Lonely Planet guide as being one of the top ten cities to visit around the world, in the main thanks to this successful initiative.

After a quick pace around Wynnum, we measured around 150m of empty shopfront space in the shopping district, and this did not include empty shop units in Florence Street. Wynnum clearly needs an injection of new blood and new ideas, sooner rather than later.

We’ll keep you posted of developments.

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