SHOP LOCAL: Belmont Forum revitalised to become a community hub

Belmont Forum Centre Manager Alexandra McAuliffe
Belmont Forum Centre Manager Alexandra McAuliffe

BELMONT Forum Centre Manager Alexandra McAuliffe talks about how a $65 million redevelopment has revitalised a community hub.

1. How many retailers make up Belmont Forum?

We have the three major supermarkets – Coles, Woolworths and Aldi – as well as two discount department stores – Kmart and Big W. And as well as having 130 speciality stores and services, we’re also home to Best & Less, JB HiFi Home, Jim Kidd Sports, Cotton On Mega and Priceline.

2. How has the business economy changed since you started at Belmont Forum?

I started managing Belmont Forum in 2014. We are attracting new customers to Belmont Forum who are proud to say they shop here. We have also enjoyed positive growth in dining and fresh food. Aldi opened one of their first stores here at Belmont Forum and this was a catalyst for price wars that consumers have benefited from.

3. How will the new $65 million redevelopment benefit small business in the area?

The redevelopment of Belmont Forum is attracting new customers and has become a vibrant hub that is active seven days a week. Small businesses located both within Belmont Forum and on our doorstep are benefitting from the increased patronage to the area.

4. How has Belmont Forum supported its retailers through the tough economic times?

We have the view that our retailers are our partners, not just tenants. We want them to thrive so we work together to ensure they have a viable business. Typically we assist retailers with marketing, visual merchandising and customer service training, and help identify who their target audience is so they can tailor their business to suit the ever-changing dynamics of the retail industry.

5. What is your local coffee shop?

Well I’m actually spoilt for choice at Belmont Forum. My preferred coffee is long black so there is no room for a badly made coffee to hide. At the moment I’m enjoying coffees from LaBelle Sweets and Soul Origin in the new Fresh Food Precinct. However, Jamaica Blue, Miss Maud, Muffin Break, San Churro, Shingle Inn and Cafe Mozart all make great coffee.