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ABS Says Retail Trade Strong in April 2009

CONSUMERS spent $19.35 billion on household goods, clothing, and at cafes and restaurants in April, according to the latest retail trade figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The strong sale result comes after a steady fall in interest rates and petrol prices since last year, and two federal government stimulus ... Read More »

Ownership of $1.5 Billion DFO Retail Chain to Change

DFO

OWNERSHIP of the $1.5 billion Direct Factory Outlet retail chain is set to change, after its two main backers, David Goldberger and David Weiland, reportedly "assess their holdings."

The AFR reports the privately owned business wants "to attract new capital" to see it through the next phase of development. But if the price is right, the whole business could be sold outright, possibly to a larger shopping centre developer.

DFO was introduced in Australia 14 years ago in Moorabbin, and now includes eight centres, three homemaker centres and a potential premium shopping centre site, on the former DFO Spencer Street, in the Melbourne CBD.

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Ben & Jerry’s Coming to Australia

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry'sETHICAL ice-cream giant Ben & Jerry's will open its first Australian store in Sydney next month, with plans to have its products available nationally over the next two years.

The 31-year old company will team with Mission Australia to provide training and jobs for prospective employees, and will donate all proceeds from locally developed ice cream flavours to the charity.

Ben & Jerry products are initially expected to appear in about 200 selected delicatessans in Sydney and Melbourne.

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St Kilda’s Westbeach Bathers Pavilion to Reopen

HAVING been saved from possible demolition about seven years ago, St Kilda’s Westbeach Bathers Pavilion will re-open next month as a high end café, restaurant and function centre.
 
The formerly rundown 800 square metre building at 330 Beaconsfield Parade, on the corner of Pier Road has been restored by a development consortium including kite boarding property developers Katani, in association with the City of Port Phillip.
 
Interiors within the 81-year old building have been refitted in a 1920s theme, and the redevelopment includes a new deck opening out to the beach.
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Major Development Mooted Opposite Balwyn Theatre

THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has approved a major mixed use development, for a site opposite the popular Balwyn Theatre.
 
The owner of the 188 Whitehorse Road Balwyn site, represented by town planner Urbis JHD, plans to build a 3-storey building comprising a 2,412 square metre supermarket, two levels of offices totalling 3,565 square metres, and 213 car spaces. The development, which will also be accessed via Jersey Street, was approved by VCAT with some amendments. It’s speculated the project could have an end value of between $20 million and $25 million.

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Australia’s First K-Mart Centre to Double in Size

kmart

THE SHOPPING centre where Australia’s first K-Mart opened in 1969, is set to undergo a major extension and renovation.
 
The owners of the K-Mart Plaza, also known as the East Burwood Plaza, will double the size of the complex, on the corner of Burwood Highway and Blackburn Road, from 15,000 square metres to 30,000 square metres.
 
Pomeroy Pacific development manager Paul Chiodo said the $35 million extension will add about 30 specialty shops, a 5,500 square metre Coles supermarket, a 333 seat restaurant, gymnasium, and a First Choice bottle shop. The extension will be built over an an existing car park, on the western side of the 6.3 hectare site.

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