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Macquarie Centre Retail Redevelopment Project

AMP Capital Shopping Centres


AMP Capital Shopping Centres operates a portfolio of 27 centers across Australia and New Zealand, generating over 7.83 billion Australian dollars in annual sales and attracting more than 160 million visitors annually. AMPCSC takes a place-led approaching creating unique and authentic destinations, each center is customized to suit the local market to deliver distinct experiences. A major shopping mall in their portfolio, the Macquarie Centre, the second largest in Sydney, was targeted for a $440-million-dollar redevelopment. Expectations from the community and investors were immense and AMP Capital was committed to reflect the values of the community and enable community growth and development.

In the past, AMP Capital invested in consumer research to inform decisions but the insights were held ‘at arms-length’. This initiative was developed to change that. They partnered with an external agency to implement an online Consumer Consultancy Board – a first in Australia. 140 members reflected a diverse local community of residents, workers and students. Through online conversations, the CCB served as a research, cooperative design, and evaluative tool.

Over 3,200 consumer comments shaped the direction of design, retail mix, entertainment and marketing, bringing consumers into the heart of the design process. Suggestions were delivered both at macro level, such as the desire for an architectural wow-factor, and at a micro level, like incorporating makeup benches into the ladies’ bathrooms. As a portfolio first, AMP Capital commissioned globally-recognized gallery artists to create permanent works in the center so that the local community could access and be proud of world-class arts experiences. In fact CCC input substantially changed many of the development team’s original concepts.

The financial outcomes from the project have exceeded all targets:


  • It created a development profit 30% over target.
  • The trading area of the shopping center increased 100%, 30% over forecast.
  • Coles, Australia’s leading supermarket chain, has seen traffic increase 20% and sales increase by 30.
  • AMPSCS successfully attracted five major international retailers to the center; the first shopping center in Australia to achieve this at the time.
  • Earlier this year, Macquarie Centre was awarded the 2016 Retail Property of the Year at Property Council of Australia Innovation and Excellence Awards.
  • Perhaps the most valuable outcome was the distillation of the feedback into “20 customer ingredients” that will shape the direction, and provide a roadmap for the future of the mall for years to come.

The process and the exceptional results of the project have changed the organization’s view and acceptance of what it means to truly put the customer at the heart of decision-making. The design thinking process is now fundamental to the way the organization approaches both large, costly developments and simple daily decision-making that impacts customer experience.

Teams at all levels of the organization have a greater empathy with the customer and know that when customer experience decisions need to be made, they can de-risk the process by inviting customers to be part of the design process.




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