Harvey Norman joins list of big retailers settling in Tamworth

READY: From left: Foreman Mike Zucker, shareholders Beryl and Ross Waters, Crowe Horwath's Julie Perry and Burke and Smyth's Gavin Knee. Photo: Peter Hardin 141016PHE004

READY: From left: Foreman Mike Zucker, shareholders Beryl and Ross Waters, Crowe Horwath's Julie Perry and Burke and Smyth's Gavin Knee. Photo: Peter Hardin 141016PHE004

BUSINESS confidence is sky high in Tamworth with a number of big name retailers committing to long-term leases in the region.

Burke and Smyth commercial principal Gavin Knee said retailers were recognising the sustainable growth Tamworth had to offer.

You may have noticed Harvey Norman in South Tamworth received a major face-lift, with a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion coming to completion after more than six months of work.

Along with the revamp, the big-box retailer inked a new lease with options until 2042.

Harvey Norman joins Dan Murphy’s, Woolworths and Officeworks as national retailers settling in to Tamworth on long-term leases.

“All the major retailers are expanding or moving to Tamworth, so that’s a good sign of the conditions and the commercial market in Tamworth and the business confidence that’s here,” Mr Knee said.

Tamworth’s Harvey Norman expansion is just one chapter in the growth of the South Tamworth “Lifestyle Centre” which has evolved around the bulky retailer, as Mr Knee recalled.

“They set the tone in 1999 when they moved here from the CBD in Peel St,” he said.

“They had the centre built for them in stage one and the centre’s second stage was built in 2005.”

The expansion of Tamworth’s retail sector is mainly down to the region’s “sustainable growth”.

“That’s the feedback when we deal with these companies,” Mr Knee said.

“It’s not built on a lot of cyclical industries like mining for instance.

We do have that in our region, but Tamworth has number of growth engines that have a sustainable long-term stability.

“That’s what they like about it.”

The retail commitment is seen as testament to Tamworth’s status as a shopping hub for the New England North West.

“It’s not only Tamworth as the city of 60,000 people, our bulky goods draw from an area of something like 290,000,” Mr Knee said.

“We draw from as far west as Moree, Wee Waa, Walgett. If they don’t go to Dubbo, they come to Tamworth.”

Mr Knee said there were a number of projects in the pipeline which could see “large multi-nationals coming to the industrial precinct”.

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