Renaissance In Melbourne CBD Retail Arcades

Posted on 19th September 2022

Melbourne’s famous retail arcades are roaring back to life as local, national and international businesses look ahead to a busy spring and summer.

Fitzroys’ James Lockwood, Travis Keenan and Franklin Gikas have negotiated four brand-new leasing deals across the famous Royal Arcade and at 271 Collins Street.

Royal Arcade - Melbourne’s first retail arcade and the longest-standing arcade in Australia - will welcome Melbourne contemporary fine jeweller Melanie Katsalidis and Florence-based perfumery Santa Maria Novella.

Set to open in the September quarter, this will be Katsalidis’ flagship store and feature the brand’s unique locally-made collections as well as other coveted design and art objects. Katsalidis signed a 3+5-year lease and this will be their second city retail space, the first being Pieces of Eight gallery, established in 2005.

“Melanie was seeking a retail space that complemented her brand’s image and that will allow her to further grow a presence in the CBD. The Royal Arcade was considered the perfect location to do so,” Gikas said.

Tracing its roots back to 1221, Santa Maria Novella has formed an internationally recognised name that can be found in households globally. This will be the Italian beauty brand’s first Melbourne flagship, signing a long 5+5-year lease.

“Santa Maria Novella’s rich history resonates perfectly with the identity of the Royal Arcade as one of Melbourne’s oldest arcades. The brand focuses on establishing stores in a location that they believe align with their story as a global company,” Keenan said.

At 271 Collins Street, Sydney-based Moi Moi Jewellery has committed to a 5+5-year lease over Shop 9C, while Maelle Bridal has taken a 3+3-year lease over Shop 9B.

Linda, the creative force of Maelle Bridal, has been operating as a bridal stylist for many years and has taken the step of establishing her first physical retail store. The privacy of the arcade and intimate nature of the location will provide assurance and establish a personalised experience for brides looking for the right dress for their special day. Meanwhile, this will be Moi Moi Jewellery’s first Melbourne flagship store, and follows on from their store in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building. Keenan said they chose this space due to its heritage building profile, while both new tenants favoured this building in particular due to the space being nestled among established tenants such as Peter Sheppard and EST Skin Clinic.

Lockwood said, “There is a renaissance taking place in Melbourne’s CBD retail arcades”.

“It’s telling that CBD arcades have attracted local, interstate and international retailers for their Melbourne flagship stores,” Lockwood said.

“Arcades are a celebrated part of Melbourne CBD’s retail and cultural offering. Retailers committing to these leases show that these quintessential parts of Melbourne CBD life are reawakening.

“Tenants are looking beyond the towards an ongoing rebound in day-to-day trade over spring and summer, to go with the bounce-back we’ve seen in night-time activity and weekend visitation.”