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									MELTON SHOPPING AND BUSINESS DISTRICT BUSINESS AND MARKETING PLAN 2006

Melton SBD Business and Marketing Plan 2005 Page No. 1

MELTON SHOPPING AND BUSINESS DISTRICT (MSBD) BUSINESS/MARKETING PLAN 2006 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND This Business and Marketing Plan is produced to provide guidance and direction for the spending of the Special Charge funds collected by the Melton Shire Council on behalf of traders in the Melton Shopping and Business District (MSBD). A marketing and business development program for the Melton SBD was introduced on 1 January 1999 through a special levy on all properties in the centre. The special levy was initially in place for three years, but was re-introduced on 1 January 2002 for a further period of three years. It raises an annual budget of about $52,000 which has been matched by an allocation from Melton Shire Council for capital works in the centre. The current Special Charge, declared by Council at its meeting of 26 July 2004, will raise approximately $52,000 per year from 213 businesses in the MSBD area. Melton Shire Council has committed to once again match these funds with spending on infrastructure to develop the MSBD over the next 3 years. This Business Plan builds on the considerable achievements of the previous SBD Committee(s), whose contribution, commitment and support for a strong SBD over a number of years, is acknowledged. The MSBD is defined as an area between Unitt Street and McKenzie Street at its north/south boundary and Station/O’Neill’s Road and Smith Street as its east/west boundary. In addition, for the purposes of collecting the special charge funds, Council has recently included businesses located on the periphery of this area. The area is illustrated in the attached plan (Appendix 1). It is a rectangular-shaped centre focusing around a 700 metre strip of High Street between the Melton Civic Centre in the east and Hungry Jack’s and Autobarn in the west. The SBD also includes uses in Unitt Street, Wallace Square, Bakery Square, and McKenzie Street, as well as in Smith Street, Palmerston Street, Alexandra Street, and Station Road. 1.1 Trade Area Measures The MSBD’s trade area may be defined as primary (Melton area) and secondary (Bacchus Marsh and Melton Shire East)1. (Appendix 2).

From research carried out in the New Communities Small Business Project, in Melton Shire East an estimated 5-10% of residents there visit Melton SBD to shop for non-grocery items.

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The following population projections provided below in Table 1, for the two trade areas, provides some measure of the growth in population expected over the next 10 years. Table 1 Population Projections
Trade Area population projections 2001 Melton Shire Bacchus Marsh 52,830 15,839 Forecast year 2006 82,195 19270 2011 112,615 22543 2016 139,513 27427

TOTAL

70,670

103,471

137,169

168,956

Source: ID Consulting for Melton Council and Moorabool Shire Council estimates.

Note: Melton Shire total includes primary trade area of Melton and secondary trade area of Melton Shire east In 2001, it was estimated that total available retail spending in the trade area was $351 million2. Based on current population growth and allowing for inflation and additional Melton Shire East population it is estimated that total available retail spending in the trade area is approaching $500 million per year and growing. Escape spending or leakage of spending from the total trade area was estimated at 22% in 2001.3 1.2 Market shares Table 2 illustrates market shares of the MSBD in various sectors. It illustrates the district’s strength’s in food and dining and probably certain services. TABLE 2 Market Shares – Summary of Data Take home food Meals and Snacks Clothing Shoes/Acc. Other goods Total and Market services Share in Trade Area % % 26.4 16.6

% 11.2

% 17.4

% 10.4

Source: Urbec 2002, as presented in Melton Council’s Report to Panel, Amendment C33, 29 April 2004.

Note – Table 2 is a summary of data as provided in the report to the C33 Panel
Melton Retail Performance Update, Essential Economics, Sept 2001. (Note: This estimate excluded Melton Shire East) 3 Ibid.
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1.3

Planning environment There are many views on future development of the MSBD. In the current environment however it is important to recognize the influence of Activity Centre planning on future development. This state government initiative outlined in the Melbourne 2030 Planning for Sustainable Growth documents, designates two major activity centres in Melton. Those being the MSBD and Woodgrove/Coburns Road shopping centres. In short, major activity centres are planned for a mix of activities, well served by public transport, with a large catchment area and with the potential to grow without conflicting with surrounding land uses.4

1.4

SWOT analysis A summary of the SBD’s existing profile can be expressed in terms of its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT): Strengths • • • • • • • • • • Not just a shopping centre, but a mix of retail, commercial, entertainment and community uses Strong commercial centre with five banks, a post office, several financial, legal and real estate services Good range of medical and dental services Entertainment and leisure role provided by the three hotels, nightclub, bingo centre, bowling centre, cafes and restaurants Fresh air, pleasant “country in the city” atmosphere Convenient car parking close to shops Well-established business operators Professional presentation in numerous shops Friendly atmosphere Council committed to improving the area as demonstrated through the matching funding to provide for a capital works program in the SBD

Weaknesses • • • • Large spread out centre High Street is a very wide main street (although the new roundabouts and the median strip have provided some traffic calming) High Street provides a big physical barrier between the north and south sides of the centre Wallace Square and Bakery Square are isolated precincts and are not well connected to High Street

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for more information see www.melbourne2030.vic.gov.au

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• • • •

High vacancy rate in the whole centre Presentation and customer service in some instances could be improved Limited streetscape beautification works throughout the SBD Car parking in some areas is limited

Opportunities • • • • • • • • • • Development of a niche for the SBD that is distinctive from Woodgrove or Coburns Road shopping centres Extension of business services – a fast growing area of the economy Outdoor-oriented cafes and restaurants More variety of shops A further “magnet” (retail or services) or anchor Development of an entertainment precinct building on existing facilities Development of further tourism services Extensive range of new streetscape improvement works including more seating Continued collective marketing of the whole centre, including an ongoing calendar of special promotional events Enhanced professional development program

Threats • • • • 1.5 Woodgrove and Coburns Road Shopping Centres Bacchus Marsh Shopping Centre Other regional shopping centres such as Watergardens, Deer Park Central, Sunshine Plaza and Market Towers, and Highpoint Complacency of stakeholders

Competitor Analysis From recent studies it is clear that the main competitor to the MSBD is the Woodgrove and Coburns Road Shopping Centres with Bacchus Marsh following a close second. The MSBD has strong market share in other goods and services and meals and snacks but lags in take home food and clothing, shoes, accessories. With the planned expansion of the Woodgrove Shopping Centre5 and the planned expansion and opening of the Caroline Springs Town Centre (20,000 square metres of retail floor space) it is clear the MSBD must continue to differentiate itself from these major competitors. This conclusion has been recognised by Council already, particularly in relation to the proposed Woodgrove expansion:…”It is evident that these

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C33 proposed planning scheme amendment to the Melton Shire’s Planning Scheme

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centres will have very different roles, with High Street focusing on a more local retail function with personal service, entertainment, tourist, restaurant and café establishments and Woodgrove taking on a more of a high order regional town centre role….6 1.6 Customer Analysis/Overview Research undertaken by the Melton Shire Council in recent times provides clear direction as to improving the Melton shopping and Business District for shoppers. Research shows many would like more activities, services and a greater choice of shopping experience in the MSBD.7 It is generally believed that for strip shopping centres to succeed they need to provide the following: 1. 2. A reason for people to go to the shopping centre. A number of appropriate night time activities, which are deemed to be safe and affordable.

1.7

Context of the Plan. The following plan builds on past plans and achievements and has been developed to reflect the aspirations and goals of the traders, Council and the Melton Community within the context of the above framework. It has been developed in consultation with traders and it attempts to provide a vision for sustainable development of the MSBD and addresses weaknesses, builds on strengths, recognizes and manages threats and exploits opportunities.

2.

OBJECTIVES OF THE SBD PROGRAM They key objectives of the program are: • • • • To provide advice to the Economic Development Department, Council, government agencies and other relevant organisations on matters associated with business trade within the MSBD To advise on the administration of the special charge in a fiscally astute manner To liaise with the Economic Development Department, Council, business and property owners in the MSBD To assist in fostering strategic business growth within the MSBD by improving its commercial viability and identifying and encouraging the development of employment opportunities in the MSBD

6 7

Report to Panel, Amendment C33, Melton Shire Council, p17. Melton Shire Council surveys undertaken in the township structure planning process.

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3.

PROFILE OF THE MSBD The SBD has a total floorspace of about 28,000 square metres. breakdown of the type of uses currently in the centre is as follows: • • • • • • • • Total Food retailing including take-away food, cafes and restaurants Non-food retailing goods Retail services (hairdressing, travel, video, optical, dry cleaning, laundrette) Automotive products and services Commercial and professional services Entertainment and accommodation Medical, dental and health services Government and community services A

19% 34% 10% 3% 17% 5% 7% 4% 100%

Vacancy rates in the MSBD have vacillated around 8 -11% over recent years. In this plan a target vacancy rate of 5-8% has been set. This would be a more acceptable level, reflecting a healthy and vibrant shopping centre. 4 LONGER TERM GOALS The MSBD will be: • • • A pleasant, friendly place to work in, shop and visit An attractive, welcoming environment, with a strong sense of community which encourages people to stay longer, mingling and socialising in the streets and enjoying evening activities An area which appeals to families and young people and encourages visitors

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EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF THE MSBD PROGRAM The MSBD program, funded by the special levy and Council's matching contribution, will work to realise the MSBD’s longer term goals. Specific outcomes that are expected to be achieved from the program are: • • • • An improved image and visibility for the whole MSBD Activities in the MSBD which benefit retail, commercial and other businesses Improved networking and communications between businesses in the MSBD Overall improvement in the trading performances of the MSBD, including the achievement of improved vacancy rates in shops and offices

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• •

Improved customer perceptions of the MSBD Improvements in streetscapes and traffic management issues in the MSBD

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ACTION STRATEGIES The following five overarching strategies together form the basis of activities of the advisory committee and spending of the funds over the 2006 calendar year.

6.1

Marketing Strategies • • • Support the Djerriwarrh Festival and develop appropriate activities which will increase business in the MSBD during the Festival Support Christmas activities in the community and develop appropriate activities which will increase business in the MSBD during the holiday season Develop an events strategy relevant to the MSBD by developing a calendar of potential events (in consultation with the Tourism and Leisure Unit) and identifying appropriate ways for the MSBD to maximise business potential of those events. The strategy should include events or activities in all key areas of the MSBD Participate in special wrap-arounds in the local newspapers for the Djerriwarrh Festival and Christmas promotional events Continue to distribute approved "A boards" and decals for business windows/doors as required to reinforce the MSBD brand Expand the use of regular cooperative advertising features for MSBD businesses in local newspapers, including the Leader, Express and Star Identify cooperative opportunities with local newspapers and broadcasters to advertise and promote MSBD businesses (Note: this is checking with the papers about monthly business features and also the potential of doing cooperative or advertorial radio) Redesign and reposition the MSBD Business Directory expanding content to make it more valuable to recipients (perhaps including emergency numbers, services, emergency or safety tips, etc. as well as promotions, and review and expand distribution (increase the budget allocation in this area) Expand public relations activities with local community groups, schools, etc. through window displays, competitions, etc.

• • • •

•

•

6.2

Business Development Strategies • • • Encourage MSBD businesses to use, distribute and promote the MSBD Business Directory Continue to facilitate a proactive approach to attracting new businesses to the MSBD Encourage distribution of information kit for businesses exploring entering the MSBD.

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Encourage businesses to become involved in Shire wide networking/business events Develop relevant, accessible short-program training activities for MSBD members

6.3

Infrastructure Strategies • Support the implementation of the Council's Urban Design Framework, including the development and implementation of consistent tree and ground cover planting in key areas of the MSBD Publicise the new street furniture (media releases and editorials with pictures of the new benches, etc.). Support and assist in a review of parking for visitors to, and workers in, the MSBD within the context of the MSBD Traffic and Parking Study Assist in consultations considering further pedestrian crossings in High Street Encourage landlords to improve the facades of shops and other buildings in the MSBD through general clean-up, repainting and maintenance in accordance with the Urban Design Framework

• • • •

6.4

Organisation and Management • • • • • Maintain an active Advisory Committee for the MSBD. Establish sub-committees as required, with the authority to co-opt members from within the MSBD business community Employ a part-time coordinator Hold quarterly meetings for MSBD members to seek input and review activities Create an MSBD column to appear in the Economic Development Department’s Business 2 Business newsletter Strengthen the relationship with the local community by involving schools and other community groups in special promotional events.

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Membership and Operation of Advisory Committee:

At its July 2004 meeting Council resolved to call for expressions of interest for membership of an advisory committee with the following representation: a) b) c) One Member of Council staff The Councilor representing the Courthouse Ward; and 4 persons whom are representative of businesses in High Street, all 4 of whom must own or occupy land in High Street.

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d)

3 persons whom are representative of businesses outside of High Street and from other areas of the MSBD, all 3 of whom must own or occupy land in the MSBD.

Note: During the time period of the first Business Plan it is also recommended that a member of Council staff representing the Tourism and Leisure Services Department be co-opted to the committee. This will be reviewed when developing subsequent plans for the MSBD. 7.1 Terms of Reference and reporting requirements Melton Council at its July 2004 meeting, resolved that the advisory committee propose to Council how the proceeds of the special charge be expended, subject to such expenditure generally being devoted to activities and programs which: a) b) c) d) provide incentives to “shop” within the MSBD, and stem the leakage of shopping dollars from the MSBD; strategically plan the fostering of business growth within the MSBD; enhance customer service, pride and excellence in business within the MSBD; and improve the commercial viability of the MSBD;

The advisory committee would also be required to: a) b) Propose to Council before 1 July in each year in which the special charge is in force an updated business and marketing plan; and Provide financial reports, as generated by Council, to the general trader community on a quarterly basis which compares budgeted expenditure with actual expenditure in line with the, at the time, current Council approved business and marketing plan. Consult widely with the general trader community in relation to marketing initiatives to be carried out within the business and marketing plan, which are to specifically not include infrastructure spending. Assist Council to advertise and call for submissions for a position of MSBD co-ordinator (if an appointment is deemed appropriate in the business plan). Develop a position description and annual work plan for the position of MSBD coordinator (if applicable), which is reviewed annually.

c)

d)

e)

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Note: In providing quarterly financial reports, the Advisory Committee would also provide a brief outline of current marketing initiatives, some evaluation of activities, upcoming events for the MSBD and general items of interest and relevance. 8. Budget 2006 Melton SBD Special Charge funds $ Income (Traders levies/charge) Carry over Total income Expenditure on Marketing Marketing/Events Djerriwarrh Festival Christmas Promotion Media Advertising SBD Directory Other Events Website Business Development Workshops/Courses (Small Business Related) Administration Co-ordinator Committee Photocopying/Postage, etc. TOTAL NOTES: 1) The Special Charge collects approximately $52,000 per annum for spending on marketing and promotion in the MSBD $26,500 carried over from 2005 Christmas promotion is for a period of 6 weeks leading up to lighting ceremony. 12,000 300 200 $78,500 8,000 7,000 15,000 15,000 0 20,000 1000 52,000 26,500 78,500

2) 3)

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4)

Workshops courses consists of $7000 for the Vic 2000 energy reduction and cost program and $1000 for retail training courses to be conducted by Djerriwarrh Education Services.

9.

EVALUATION This business plan will be evaluated against the following key performance indicators (KPI’s) in early 2006. KPI Vacancy rates Management of budget 5-8% Within budgetary constraints Target and measure

Level of trader participation in > 50% participation as measured marketing activities Efficacy of marketing activities > 75% positive response from traders as measured by survey of customer activity relating to activities. Maintenance of, or increase in, trading performance of MSBD as measured by survey. Improved perceptions of the MSBD amongst customers and Melton residents.

Trading performance

Customer perceptions of the MSBD

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