Retail offerings across the Sunshine Coast have been increasing with dizzying speed in the past 12 months and the opening of the second stage of the Sunshine Plaza refurbishment will give Coast shoppers access to more big-name brands.
With construction first beginning in September 2016, the second stage of the $440 million redevelopment will open on March 28. It will feature the region’s first David Jones and H&M stores, as well as a new Big W.
The total expansion adds 35,000 square metres of retail space to the existing centre, and includes more than 100 additional specialty stores such as MECCA, Sheike, lululemon, Seed Heritage, Endota Spa, JB Hi-Fi, Kathmandu and Baku.
The milestone has catapulted the Plaza’s status to “super-regional shopping centre” and is the first located north of Brisbane.
The Property Council of Australia’s Shopping Centres Online defines a super-regional shopping centre as one “typically incorporating two full-line department stores, one or more full-line discount department stores, two supermarkets and approximately 250 specialty shops.”
Lendlease managing director of retail Gary Horwitz says the expansion is expected to generate 2300 additional retail jobs for the region.
“Sunshine Plaza now has some of the biggest national brands and most sought-after specialty stores, so locals no longer need to travel to Brisbane for their ideal shopping experience – everything they need, and more, is right here,” he says.
David Jones regional manager Rowena Derksen says their highly anticipated store is spread over an 8000-square metre single floor, offering a full range of fashion, beauty, kids and homewares as well as a cafe.
“We are investing in a world-class store that will deliver an outstanding shopping experience for our customers,” she says.
“We’re really looking forward to bringing our signature instore services to the Coast, including David Jones Personal Shopping, a complimentary service where our expert personal shoppers work one on one with you in our Personal Shopping Suite to find looks that you feel fantastic in.”
More than 1000 applicants sent in resumes for the chance to secure one of the 75 positions at the store and Ms Derksen says the store is “thrilled to have an overwhelming response to work with us”.
“We’re very excited to be unveiling an extensive range of the best of local and international brands, tailored specifically for our Sunshine Coast shoppers,” she says.
They include Giorgio Armani, La Mer, Estée Lauder, Jo Malone and M.A.C in the beauty department and Bec + Bridge, Aje, Witchery, Camilla, C&M and Tigerlily in ladieswear.
The gents can enjoy Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Politix, Rodd & Gunn and Anthony Squires and kids will look funky in Indie Kids, Quiksilver, Marquise and Tommy Hilfiger.
Sephora Australia is another newcomer to the Coast, with the Plaza set to host the beauty brand’s fourth Queensland store.
Sephora offers more than 50 exclusive beauty brands including Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Kat Von D Beauty and many more.
Sephora Australia and New Zealand interim general manager Pedro Coutinho says while Coast customers had been able to access their products online, “sometimes there’s nothing better than popping into the store to have a play and try something new”.
“We don’t underestimate the excitement this announcement will generate in the lead-up to our grand opening on March 28,” Sunshine Plaza Centre manager Michael Manwaring says.
“Sephora is a trailblazer in the international world of beauty and we look forward to our customers experiencing first-hand the brand’s incredible ability to connect with customers through the sensory experiences offered in store.”
Mr Manwaring says the centre’s overall design vision ‘Home is my Holiday’ is reflected in the refurbishment, bringing the charm of the Sunshine Coast to life.
“We’ve really considered our customers and our existing retailers by delivering improved covered walkways, new amenities, additional meeting places and new offerings,” he says.
“The design will incorporate coastal themes showcased through material selection and landscaping, retaining the indoor/outdoor elements that resonate so strongly with our local community and customers.”
• Number of new tenancies: 114 (44 in the first stage of new section and 70 in stage two opening)
• Total number of retailers now at Sunshine Plaza: 276
• Total number of stores post-development: 345
• Total square metres: 107,000
• Total number of parking spaces: almost 5000
• Total investment for redevelopment works: $440 million
• Number of construction personnel onsite daily during development: 370 (as at January 2019)
• The high ropes adventure course will open mid-2019