The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) and the National Retail Association (NRA) have welcomed today’s determination by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to re-authorise the Casual Mall Licensing Code of Practice.

The Code, which provides for the balanced and consistent management of casual mall licensing in shopping centres, was first authorised by the ACCC in 2007, and again in 2013.

SCCA Executive Director, Mr Angus Nardi, said that the ACCC’s determination will further strengthen the Code’s operation, and ensure that it continues to be a positive, industry-led initiative.

“We thank the ACCC for their courtesy and professionalism, and for engaging constructively to reach this sensible outcome,” said Mr Nardi.

“We particularly acknowledge the leadership of ACCC Deputy Chair, Dr Michael Schaper, on this issue, which is important to both the retail and shopping centre sectors,” he said.

NRA Chief Executive, Ms Dominque Lamb, said that the re-authorisation of the Code was a win for retail innovation, in a rapidly-changing environment.

“The retail industry will continue to evolve alongside changing consumer needs and expectations, with casual mall licensing a crucial component of ‘new retail’, for physical stores and for shopping centres,” Ms Lamb said.

“The next generation of retailers are out there harnessing the power of social channels and e-commerce to build their brands without the financial risk of a long-term tenancy, and then venturing into things like pop-up stores to continue refining their offerings to suit their customers’ needs.

“Casual pop-up stores are an incredible way for the next generation to dip their toes in and trial offering consumers the multi-touch points they have come to expect and assess what their consumers want, before taking the plunge into a longer-term tenancy, that requires huge stock orders and significant financial commitment.

“This decision will enable tomorrow’s retailers to grow and flourish, while also supporting longer-term retail tenancies to harness the power of the more dynamic, changeable shopping centre environment consumers have come to expect,” she said.

The SCCA and NRA look forward to working cooperatively with other industry stakeholders over the term of the re-authorisation, and to coming together to discuss the practice of casual mall licensing, and relevant developments and innovation.