Surging rents see Pitt Street Mall remain as world’s 7th most expensive retail precinct


A dramatic 17.9% increase in retail rents to $16,500 sqm has helped cement Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall as one of the world’s most coveted retail precincts, again ranking as the 7th most expensive shopping strip globally, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s Main Streets Across the World report.

The 2019 report tracks rents for 448 locations across 68 markets – the largest number ever included since the annual research commenced in 1988 – ranking the locations by their prime rental value using Cushman & Wakefield’s proprietary data.

Retail rents for Pitt Street Mall grew more than any other top 10 ranked global retail location, supported by strong demand from retailers for innovative flagship stores and growing store footprints among major cosmetics and luxury brands.

Matt Hudson, National Director of Retail Leasing, Cushman & Wakefield Australia and New Zealand, said: “Pitt Street Mall continues to hold its place among the most popular retail destinations worldwide. Rents in Sydney’s retail core have reached new highs as retailers focus on evolving the customer experience and trialling new store formats to attract shoppers. For example, we recently saw Aesop introduce an amphitheatre for customers within their new global flagship store which set a new record for retail rents on Pitt Street Mall.”

“Higher footfall areas around Pitt Street Mall are becoming more hotly contested with strong demand from high-end luxury and footwear retailers for flagship sites along George and King Streets. As a result, we’ve seen rents almost double along George Street as it opens up for business following the completion of the light rail. This has also presented an opportunity for landlords to reposition their sites.”

“While there has been a stellar rise in rents along Pitt Street Mall, there is an increasing polarisation and rising pressure on incentives in many lower foot-traffic locations across Sydney. For these areas, rents are more likely to be stable rather than rising as retail conditions remain challenging and online competition continues to gather pace.”

Rankings for the Asia Pacific region shows Pitt Street was third most expensive behind Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay and Tokyo’s Ginza district, with Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall maintaining its position as 7th in the APAC rankings at $7,000 per sqm. Brisbane’s Queen Street has fallen one position to tenth most expensive in the APAC region, with retail rents averaging $4,500 per sqm.

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