You know how there are those people who always have the inside scoop on whats happening in your local area, where to go to eat/cut your hair/find a ball gown/hire a gardener and who to ask for when you get there? Those Oracles of information who can tell you all about the coolest new place to go out for brunch, the location of a pop-up clearance boutique, the stylist to ask for at the salon, the wedding photographer you should hire…?
They all have something in common: They’re Networkers.
They love a gossip (the non-malicious kind). They’re social. They love people. They’ll talk to anyone. And they make fabulous Sales Assistants.
Want the lowdown on pretty much anything? Start a conversation with your sales assistant next time you’re out shopping. Especially at this time of year.
Mid year clearances are winding down. The end of the financial year has passed. Stock levels are low and so is foot traffic. People are either outside enjoying the sunshine in the height of summer or inside hibernating in the depths of winter. Plus, currently in Australia, with the uncertainty of the outcome of the federal election, consumers get twitchy about spending money and the purse-strings tighten.
NOTHING is happening in store. Staff are left staring at the four walls for hours on end and re-cleaning and re-merchandising the same clean and crisply presented fixtures just for something to do. The time is ripe to strike up a conversation. They talk to all kinds of people, who tell them all kinds of things, all day for a living. They’re social sponges. You’d be surprised what you might learn…
Case in point: This week in my travels around the city for my day job, I have learnt the following local gossip:
(for the record I live in Perth, Western Australia)
- The last tenants in the historic GPO building on Forrest Place in Perth’s CBD, namely Australia Post, are vacating this week. (Click here for a Street View)
- A ginormous H&M will be taking over the space in the GPO Building – 5 minutes googling just now has confirmed this. 3 floors, set to open in November. A 10 year lease, and they would have got it for a song as the business occupancy in Perth CBD is at a 21 year low.
- All the little external retail tenancies in Forrest Chase mall are also leaving one by one.
- The word on the street is that Myer, the main tenant of Forrest Chase, is taking up those leases, one by one and expanding it’s floor space from the inside out.
- I predict an external makeover of Forrest Chase to follow, to bring it out of the 90s and make it worthy of facing the heritage architecture on the opposite side of Forrest Place, and the modern crop of buildings popping up in the Northbridge link.
- How will David Jones, Australia’s only other Department Store retailer, react to this expanding competition?
- The retail job market in Perth is about to get very competitive in order to retain existing staff.
And its only Tuesday!
Next time you need a recommendation on where to have dinner, whats happening in the city on the weekend or, you know, major changes to the retail landscape in your area, ask the Oracle, AKA your Sales Assistant. They know a bunch of stuff!