Centre targets fashion giant

Global clothing giants H&M and Uniqlo could follow Zara and Topshop into WA after the owners of Garden City revealed they hoped to lure both fast-fashion retailers into the shopping precinct.

Announcing the August 21 opening date for Garden City's Zara store yesterday, AMP Capital WA senior centre manager Darin Maher said the arrival of the Spanish chain would pave the way for other international brands to enter the WA market.

Mr Maher said AMP Capital would approach Swedish retailer H&M and Japanese-owned Uniqlo in the hope of signing them up for expanded retail space at Garden City.

"They are the ones we will be targeting," he said. "The faith Zara has shown in the Perth market is likely to give other international brands the confidence to enter the market."

Plans for a $750 million Garden City redevelopment have been approved. The development will double the size of the Booragoon centre to 120,000sqm.

Uniqlo and H&M opened in Melbourne this year and Mr Maher said it was only a matter of time before they looked to expand into Perth.

The growth of online shopping had boosted the presence of global chains in Australia.

"International brands have been able to test markets and establish strong markets for their brand and that's what helped Zara and others to consider Australia," Mr Maher said.

The two-storey Zara store at Garden City covers 2000sqm.

Zara will open a second Perth store in October, on Murray Street in the city.

It will be alongside WA's first Topshop, which is also due to open in October.

Mr Maher said new clothing lines would be delivered to the Garden City Zara store twice a week and extended trading hours of 9am to 7pm were planned for the day after the opening.

Lease Equity director Fred Clohessy, who negotiated Zara's Murray Street lease, said though there was scope for greater retail expansion in WA, the trick was finding the space.

"They all want larger-format stores and there is only so much space that goes around in Murray Street and Hay Street," he said.

"They all want to be in the CBD. What you might see is owners getting creative and activating first-floor and basement levels."

A spokeswoman for Uniqlo Australia said the company was considering "a wide range of locations" across Australia, but had no definitive plans.

An H&M spokeswoman told _The West Australian _ in June that the company saw the potential for expansion into WA.

The West Australian

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