More could still be done to understand vacant retail space in Launceston's CBD after the findings of a city centre shopping study were published on Friday, the chamber of commerce has suggested.
Though the Shopping in the City report found the number of shop vacancies had remained "relatively static", this information related only to what could be seen from ground level.
Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Neil Grose said data around the square metres of vacant space could potentially reveal more about the extent of the issue - though vacancies were also an "opportunity" for new businesses.
The report, from University of Tasmania retail expert Dr Louise Grimmer, will be tabled at Thursday's City of Launceston Council meeting. Almost 100 businesses and 270 shoppers participated.
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Recommendations were made to improve parking, establish an integrated marketing campaign and help address vacant stores - including a public register of landlords who own them.
Dr Grimmer's report reflected many of the issues impacting the wider retail sector, from the shuttering of established companies to online shopping disruptions and low adoption of e-commerce.
The establishment of skills development workshops for retailers was also suggested.
Mr Grose said the recommendation for a joint marketing strategy seemed to stem from a "misunderstanding" of the chamber's role as a policy and lobbying body. He noted others appeared to be asking the council to act beyond its role.
"It's good that council have taken a proactive role to commission a study to get some solid evidence behind it," he said of the report overall. A formal response from the organisation is still being developed.
The report was welcomed by both the council and Cityprom on Friday.
"We knew there was a great deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest retail spending in Launceston has been impacted by factors such as online shopping," said City of Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten.
"However, through Dr Grimmer's study, we have gained a greater insight using an evidence-based approach to understand what those factors actually are rather than uninformed conjecture."
Cityprom executive officer Steve Henty said the organisation would adopt the recommendations.
"Not only do they complement the existing work we have developed but will also help us narrow our scope on our future initiatives in the pipeline," he said.
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