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Driving business through diversity

Retail is a rewarding game to be in, but competition can be fierce and savvy business owners are the ones implementing smart ways to gain an edge in the market. City of Adelaide’s Future Retail Adviser, Rhys Moult, looks at some of the growing number of ‘hybrid retailers’ operating in the city.


Whether you’re after big brand names or bespoke buys, when it comes to shopping, no-where beats the city on choice. What’s exciting to see more and more of though, is innovative retailers upping the ante to attract more customers and extend their shopping experience.

The concept:  wrap up a symbiotic ‘mixed business’ offering into one seamless shopping experience that gives your customer more than one reason to stick in store a little longer.

There are some great examples of this type of hybrid offering on the cityscape already and some highly creative recent arrivals.

Nowa is a new face in the CBD – just opening in January 2019. Situated in the basement below Typo on Rundle Mall (entry is via James Place), Nowa might be a clothing store at heart – but the creative minds behind the new sustainable produced label have managed to produce a unique in-store experience where art meets fashion.

Jorgia Dunn and Adrian Dorsey are the in-house design team behind the label’s high-quality urban men’s and women’s clothing range – with Adrian focused on the menswear line.

With the duo committed to reducing waste and setting an example for the future of sustainability in fashion, the Nowa range is hand-made using strictly natural fibres and manufactured intentionally in small batches. Think high street items including corduroy jackets, custom cut and sewn hoodies, tee’s and more.

Smart cuts

With its use of open space and shiny metal surfaces, the store’s interior design fit out is on point for the future trends of brick and mortar retailing.

“When we were creating this space we really wanted to reimagine retail shopping for Adelaide,” said Jorgia.

“The future of retail for us is about providing consumers with an experience that goes beyond the clothes on the racks and customer service. Pending license approval, we plan to serve local wines and beers that we love, as well as showcase Adelaide visual artists work in our dedicated gallery space in the shop.

“For us it’s about providing a unique shopping experience, that at the same time, contributes to exposing talented locals doing amazing things in their field,” said Jorgia.

So, in between scoping the racks for new threads from Nowa or complementary labels like Jungles or Carrots by Anwar Carrots, you can browse the on-site collection of local art works. and look forward to one day sampling wines by home-grown producers (if you’re over 18 of course!) All up, it’s a very contemporary retail experience with a definite New York feel.

Another recent entrant to Adelaide’s hybrid retail scene is The Motorcycle Society on Pulteney Street. This café come workshop come motorcycle apparel store, caters to the discerning latte-sipping motorbike aficionado.

The American Diner-style food is all lovingly prepared. When I popped in, I had a Cheeseburger Cookie: bacon, a burger and cheese served on a black sesame seed shortbread cookie ‘bun’ and enjoyed with an Iced Americano coffee. Divine.

Food at The Motorcycle Society
The Cheeseburger Cookie – on the menu at The Motorcycle Society

The store has a funky Americana grunge motorcycle feel with unique design pieces including custom-made helmet pendant lamps and branded laser-cut tables and signage. The workshop proper is out the back but it seems to spill into the café and retail store, where there are Vespas and old school Hondas conveniently stored on display. It all just works!

Mystery shoppers help businesses be their best for seniors
The Motorcycle Society
Custom-made bike helmet pendant lamps ramp up the ‘cool factor’ at The Motorcycle Society

Fleur & Brew on Gilbert Street in the city’s eclectic south-west pocket has been running its mixed business retail offering for a couple of years now.

Run by Svetlana Grebenshikoff, this super-cosy haven for flower and plant lovers opened in mid-2017. 

Fleur & Brew
Irresistible aromas of coffee and budding blooms at Fleur & Brew

As its name suggests, there are two main offerings: a flower filled shop front for enjoying delicious fresh coffee and a friendly floral service producing elegant arrangements including bouquets, flower crowns and event pieces – including wedding.

Svetlana Grebenshikoff, Fleur & Brew
Fleur & Brew owner Svetlana Grebenshikoff

Find these three businesses at:

These stores are just for starters .. tell us about your favourite mixed business retailers in the city in the comments section below so others can check them out.

Rhys Moult

Rhys Moult

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