Draft Retail Gap Analysis Opportunities

The community is being invited to provide feedback on the development opportunities identified by the Retail Doctor in the draft Retail Gap Analysis report.


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Brian Walker from the Retail Doctor Group was engaged by Council to provide expert independent insights into the gaps in retail offering in both Stawell and St Arnaud and to identify retail development opportunities for both townships.

The Retail Doctor Group is recognised globally in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore and has expertise in:

  • Consumer, global and business insights.
  • Retail strategy planning and implementation, and.
  • Retailer training in visual merchandising, retail operations, financial management, store design, benchmarking business and business growth.


Brian visited Stawell and St Arnaud in April and consulted with representatives from:

  • The Stawell and St Arnaud communities.
  • Regional Development Victoria.
  • Wimmera Development Association.
  • Grampians Tourism.
  • Stawellbiz.
  • Councillors, the Executive Leadership Team, Senior Leadership Team and council officers at the Northern Grampians Shire Council.

While in St Arnaud, Brian spoke with over 20 retailers and looked through as many shops, and held a 'Fit for Business' training session.

When Brian visited Stawell, Brian held his ‘Fit for Business’ training, a ‘Future of Retail’ breakfast information session, again meeting with 15 people and visiting over 20 stores.

Development Opportunities and feedback

The following development opportunities have been identified for St Arnaud:

  • Development of restaurant/café scene on the main precinct 
  • Dedicated tourism stores and information to attract current high tourism audience. 
  • Public arts and culture program as a unique identifier for the town, tying into the Silo Art Trail.
  • Capitalise on close proximity to Silo Art Trail and consider St Arnaud as a starting point or gateway to the trail in any town branding exercises.
  • Strengthen the historic links with the town and build on the emotional link for tourists and guests.
  • Antiques.
  • Artisan Crafts.
  • Art/books.
  • Local wines and providores.
  • Wine bar.
  • Incubation retail including designers, art, fashion, photography, galleries.
  • Food providore (including organic).
  • Gourmet pizza.
  • Older ladies fashion.
  • Mid-market men's and women's fashion.

The following development opportunities have been identified for Stawell:

  • Local artisan fashion and homewares.
  • Organic fresh food store.
  • Contemporary barber.
  • Wine bar.
  • Mid-market men's and women's fashion.
  • Incubation retail including designers, art, fashion, photography, galleries.
  • National brands like Cotton On, Just Jeans, Portman's and Smiggle.
  • Additional older men’s and women's fashion shops for the current dominant demographic.
  • A small DDS – Target Country/Best and Less or similar.
  • A discount supermarket – e.g Aldi.
  • Increase artisan crafts/homewares and local co-op retail to increase dwell time and appeal to tourist segment.
  • Increase in restaurants, cafes, and speciality events.
  • Increase in camping and outdoors

We are keen to hear your feedback on the identified opportunities, and what retail outlets you think should be added.  Provide your feedback below.

Retail development opportunities feedback form >>