Silverleaf’s commitment to changing the retail face of Fremantle has stepped up a notch with the architecturally impressive Woolstores redevelopment hoping for the green light from the City this week.

Globally, the retail industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past decade, and it continues to evolve quickly as emerging technologies and the internet changes the way we shop and interact with brands and retail stores.

It is predicted that nearly 3,800 stores are expected to close their doors across Australia by year end, but I firmly believe Fremantle is incredibly well positioned to weather this storm. We offer retail that appeals to both consumers emotions and social consciousness we offer a very differentiated experience from the online masses and we are positioned in a visually attractive, relaxed and appealing environment.

IKEA, Barns & Noble and even NIKE have all recently announced a move to smaller format stores, and community driven spaces. In Fremantle we don’t need to artificially create this – wander down Wray Ave, South Terrace and High Street and you get an immediate sense of community, design and individual retail experiences. We just need to get better at sharing this!

Our Set the Month in Motion Social Media Podcast Forum this week gave us some great tips on how to do this better and in a more relevant way. Well worth a listen when it is live on Tuesday on our Podcast station – available at – AppleGoogle or Spotify.

One of our key Chamber priorities for 2020 is generating local business pride as a retail destination, encourage others to discover the same and find interesting ways to share the stories of doing business in Fremantle.  Stay tuned as we roll these out over coming months, and diarise Sunday, 1 December as the launch of our Fremantle From the Inside initiative tour of our city for locals and map.

Our Small Business and Retail Committee have been boosted with two new Fremantle faces Karl Bullers from The National Hotel and Kevin Sanderson from Corner Store. We so look forward to their contribution over the year ahead on representing and advocating for local Fremantle businesses, finding creative ways to share our story and promote great retail experiences locally.

I’d like to finish with a big shout out to all those individuals who worked so tirelessly to drive such an amazing weekend in Fremantle. The atmosphere down at  Maritime Day at Fremantle Ports was so wonderful and everything our Port city should be – moving from there to the surreal and figurative water display across the Esplanade Park, Fremantle – Waterlicht and our restaurants and bars full of folk in good spirits was a wonderful experience.

So proud to say my oldest lad took out third place in the Maritime Day photo walk competition with his capture of his brother’s Leap of Joy! Let’s make every visitor feel like this when they visit Fremantle.


Image:  Leap of Joy, Loïc Dutry.