The inimitable Marshall Martin of The Good Store, winner of a thousand awards including Telstra Businesswoman Of The Year and many more for customer satisfaction, innovative store merchandising and outstanding product delivery, was confronted in an interview -
"What I want is more good businesses around me. Good, distinctive businesses. There is no ladies shoe shop, or a bookshop. Someone in our precinct knocked back Crow Books. I think we'd be 5-10% up if Crow Books were here."
We learn a lot from our local retailers. Some are so distinct and powerful they are anchors within our precinct - it's what makes them win awards - and we must listen to them: their aches and pains, their worries, their opportunities.
Curating our retail ecology means tending to our retailers, especially the ones that can catalyse further community development. And they do - if other retailers want to be around them; and everyone wants to be near the Good Store. They're a big business in a small store format: a one-off, mom-and-pop, corner store; so ubiquitous but so unique that no business beside them would feel threatened, nor would The Good Store by they.
Identifying these rythyms in our streets, listening to the anchors, and curatorially stacking the retail mix in the right spot WILL create a bullet-proof community.
::: A Beautiful City consults to government about retail vibrancy.