SHANNON CROSBY, TORI LOCKLEY AND TIM WALKER
The opening of Swedish clothing giant H&M’s first Western Australian store at the Lakeside shopping centre in Joondalup will have a positive impact, say local residents, businesses and a retail analyst.
H&M opened its first Australian outlet in Melbourne in April last year, and has since opened stores in Sydney and Brisbane.
“I think it’s a very positive outcome for customers and also for competition in the area,” Dr Kingshott said.
“The fact they have selected Joondalup for the inaugural West Australian site says a lot for retailer sentiments about the northern suburbs, in particular Joondalup.
“The advantage they have is that it is on the rail line so there is direct access to the shopping centre precinct.”
Joondalup resident Rebecka Nilsson, who moved to Perth from Sweden two years ago, said she was surprised by Australia’s interest in the retail giant.
“H&M is everything for Sweden and Swedish people,” she said.
“I think everyone goes straight to H&M to buy the basics.
“It is affordable but quality clothing.”
Dr Kingshott said stores of this calibre have a gravitational effect on their competitors.
“You don’t just get one, you get quite a few of them around,” he said.
“You can see evidence of that here with the Myer store opening up, then H&M.”
However, Dr Kingshott said small boutique clothing stores would need to adjust to having the large retail outlets coming in.
“The downside might be for boutique retailers,” he said.
“They need to be on top of their game in terms of the services they offer, but certainly from a customer point of view it’s positive, and from a competitive point of view it’s positive.”
Live is one of the clothing outlets already at Lakeside, and employee Tian Georgiadis said H&M’s opening would have both positive and negative influences on the Live store.
“It’s obviously going to attract more people to come here,” Ms Georgiadis said.
“I went to Singapore a few years back and that’s the first I heard of it and it has grown bigger and bigger since then.
“Lots of people now know the brand.”
H&M is expected to open its 2500sqm Joondalup store in the second half of 2015, and an additional store in Perth’s CBD is expected to open in 2016.
Joondalup councillor Tom McClean, H&M, and Lakeside Joondalup declined to comment.