The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) and the National Retail Association (NRA) have jointly welcomed the determination by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to re-authorise the Casual Mall Licensing Code of Practice for an additional 10 years, the longest extension since the Code’s inception in 2007.

The Code, which allows businesses to occupy a space for a maximum of 180 days, often referred to as ‘pop-up’ stores, supports retailers with permanent space in shopping centres to increase their footprint during busy sales periods (e.g. Christmas), and offers incoming retailers and start-ups a cheap and effective point of entry to shopping centres, allowing them to benefit from the foot traffic through centres while gaining experience on a trial basis before taking up longer term leases.

Former Australian and Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Mark Brennan, who Chairs the industry committee overseeing the Code, has welcomed the ACCC’s 10-year re-authorisation of the Casual Mall Licensing Code of Practice.

“The ACCC’s re-authorisation period of 10 years is a significant step in terms of reducing red tape and a testament to the enduring relevance and structure of the Code in ensuring prosperous and fair arrangements for both landlords and retailers”, said Mr Brennan.

SCCA Executive Director Angus Nardi said the ACCC’s 10-year extension was an endorsement of the Code’s effectiveness as a framework for enabling fair and balanced outcomes and its overall public benefit.

“The 10-year extension acknowledges the important role pop-up retail plays in shopping centres and celebrates the unified approach of retailers and landlords to enable dynamic and evolving offerings for consumers,” said Mr Nardi.

NRA Chief Executive Dominique Lamb said the extension of the Code would be celebrated by the nation’s retailers who have enjoyed the successes of pop-up retailing:

“Since inception, the Casual Mall Licensing Code has played an important place in enabling retailers to expand their footprint during busy periods and act as a springboard for small businesses to access and test target markets with a lower cost and lower risk” said Ms Lamb.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, pop-ups will continue to play an integral role in allowing start-up businesses to upscale into shopping centres, supporting the continued growth of the Australian retail sector”.