Fashion Tourism Drives Dollars For Aussie Retailers

26 June 2015

Melbourne has long been considered a destination for a spot of designer shopping and a girly weekend away, and a recent retailer event with around 100 industry experts confirms it.

If you travel for the shopping, you’re not alone. Recurrent themes at the recent Talking Shop Retailer Engagement Series ‘Postcards from Successful Retailers’ event held by  AMP Capital Shopping Centres and the Australian Fashion Chamber showed shopping is a driver for travel.  According to statistics from the event, 27 percent of Aussies travel interstate to shop up a storm, and 26 percent of us are travelling within our own state to bag a bargain.

 27 percent of Aussies travel interstate for retail therapy.

But step away from the ugg boots and Aussie flag apparel – cheap and cheesy souvenirs are no longer the go-to gift. Holidays are a time for splurging and industry insiders at the event state that fashion is the new souvenir. Rather than shop the same retailers available in your home town, seek out unique pieces from emerging designers or local fashion luminaries for a special souvenir with personality and authenticity.

Major capitals like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are also attracting attention and shopfronts from international high-street chains such as Japan’s Uniqlo, Topshop from the UK, H&M from Sweden, Spain’s Zara, as well as GAP and Forever 21 from the US, allowing interstate holidaymakers the chance to stock up on basics and fast fashion that was previously only available overseas or online, if the retailers even ship to Australia.

Our well-known and emerging designers are also enticing visitors from across the Tasman, with 51 percent of New Zealanders travelling to Australia for the main purpose of retail therapy. While Kiwis have Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Trelise Cooper and Auckland designer Andrea Moore to kit them out, travellers love our homegrown labels including sass & bide, Camilla & Marc, Zimmermann and Dion Lee.

Accessibility, the opportunity to splurge, authentic and unique offerings and an inspiring shopping environment that compliment the destination are all crucial factors that make retailers relevant to interstate and overseas shoppers. And numbers show that shoppers are spending more on shorter stays. In 2014, there was a 7 percent increase in overnight trips and a 6 percent increase in overnight spend.

Sounds like a winter weekend away is on the (credit) cards!

Top places to shop for designer fashion in Australia:

Sydney: The Intersection, Paddington

The junction of Oxford Street and Glenmore Road in Sydney’s Paddington is populated with chic boutiques from some of Australia’s established designers, such as Alice McCall, Camilla, Ellery and Scanlan & Theodore.

  A photo posted by James Street (@jamesstbne) on

Brisbane: James Street Precinct, Fortitude Valley

From carefully curated international fashion at Calexico and Camargue to local luminaries including Gail Sorronda and Easton Pearson, this leafy lifestyle nook in Brisbane’s inner city offer top-to-toe apparel options.

Melbourne: Chapel Street

Spanning from South Yarra to Prahran and taking in the eclectic areas of Greville Street and the Windsor Quarter, fashion aficionados can take their pick of vintage through to the latest designer gear.

A photo posted by @thekingstreetprecinct on

Perth: King Street Precinct

If you are lusting after luxury labels, Perth’s King Street in the CBD is the locale where gems from the Outback meet high-end design. Here, international houses share space with jewellery from Broome, Kalgoorlie and the Kimberley.

Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.