The last few years in retail have been filled with more trials than triumphs, but we learnt so much. The number one lesson is that the sense of community and engagement we foster in our neighbourhood centres is crucial in creating thriving retail and lifestyle precincts that enhance the local area. 

Both Rhodes Central and Marina Square at Wentworth Point became a place of great resource and convenience for communities to ‘shop local’ during Covid restrictions. We were delighted to see our centres become the hub of the community where people also chose to ‘connect local’. 

Happily, we’ve seen this sense of community flourish, and we believe it will only get stronger in 2023. Here’s why: 

A haven for remote workers 

Working from home is here to stay, which means a much bigger percentage of our locals spend a significant portion of their day in the area. Whereas before, most people used the centres as merely a convenient place to shop, they now seek out activities as they meet and socialise with the neighbours and retailers. 

At Structure,  we’ve ensured that this need is met with activities throughout the year, not just by marking big occasions. You can read more in our recent blog here

A retail experience like no other 

We’re proud that our centres satisfy the needs of Rhodes and Wentworth Point residents with a mix of local and national retailers. Yes, this enables us to support our local businesses, who are often residents, but it also means that customers get unique retail experiences.  

Sub-regional and neighbourhood shopping centres excel in their personalisation and tailoring the offering to the wants and needs of the community. Our goal is not to keep adding more and more retail offerings just to fill the centres but rather to curate experiences that suit the demographic. 

We’re part of the community, too

Structure’s team is permanently based at the centres, so we get to know the communities and intimately understand what they want from their shopping experiences. That includes creating a bond between the customers, retailers and even the local school with fundraising activities. 

You can see a video of our Christmas Carols event here, which involved Wentworth Point Public School. Two days of celebrations for the Lunar New Year kicked off our events for 2023, and you can see some of the fun here. Many more events are planned for the next 12 months.

We’re also looking to implement a series of grants for our Marina Square community, with three $2,000 Cash Grants awarded to local children aged 5-17. The aim is to provide practical support for training and development for exceptional students in the fields of sport, art and music. One grant will be awarded in each category.

People-first approach 

For the Structure team, being a part of our centres’ day-to-day interactions with customers and retailers has taught us much about what drives engagement. Building a community around each centre has become the foundation of our service.

It’s our goal to cement the position of Rhodes Central and Marina Square as not only the neighbourhood shopping centre of choice but the heartbeat of the community. 

We can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring

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