The five years leading up to 2010 Adelaide City recorded the fastest growth of all Council areas in South Australia. The 30 Year Plan targets continued residential growth in the City, with total population growth of 27,300 people targeted to 2038 providing a potential future population of around 46,000 people.
Population growth in the CBD is likely to increase activity and spending in the Rundle Mall Precinct.
City Workforce Growth
The City is a key work destination and approximately 20% of metropolitan employment is located within Adelaide.
The City workforce has grown substantially in recent years. At 2008, a total of 118,490 people worked in the City of Adelaide, which represented an increase of more than 10,000 over two years.
Cultural, recreation and entertainment venues/facilities are strong attractions for tourists and strengthening linkages between these attractions and the Rundle Mall Precinct will support increased tourist use of Rundle Mall.
Providing a unique retail offer, physical environment and overall experience will also help to maximise tourist trade within Rundle Mall.
Students are regular users of Rundle Mall. A survey conducted by Adelaide City Council found that 95% of students shop in the City at least once a year. Most (78%) visit the City daily or most days and while studying on campus was identified as the main reason for visiting the City, visiting Rundle Mall was identified as the most common secondary reason for visiting the City. Growth in student numbers will have a positive impact on activity levels and retail trade in the Rundle Mall Precinct.
Rundle Mall is a predominantly retail environment and currently attracts an estimated $800 million of retail spending each year. Rundle Mall continues to hold its position as the top retail destination in South Australia but its share of spending has declined in recent decades to now represent around 4% of retail spending in the State.
Rundle Mall’s position has been challenged by:
- On-line retailing;
- Competition through major centre expansion (i.e. Marion, Tea Tree Plaza, Elizabeth, West Lakes, Noarlunga and most recently Burnside Village);
- Free and accessible car parking offered by these centres;
- Lack of quality complementary experiences such as dining and entertainment which are commonly found in main streets such as Norwood Parade, Unley Road and King William Road.
Failure to address these issues is to put at risk the role of the Mall as an icon for South Australia and as a key generator of activity and income for the City and the State. Rundle Mall has simply got to be better than anywhere else to remain competitive.
It is incomprehensible to think that this is the case when Rundle Mall has so many strengths such as:
- 23 million visitations per annum (and growing);
- Approximately 700 retailers & 200 service based businesses;
- 5,000 employees within the precinct;
- Access to 120,000 City workers in the CBD;
- Being the most accessible precinct in terms of public transport and tourism visitation.
We must use these strengths to deliver a better identity for Adelaide’s true heart. Not a new heart, but a rejuvenated economic engine room of the city to restore Rundle Mall’s leadership as the premiere retail destination in South Australia.