Our Australian winter is in full swing with two Westfield Mall properties featuring our rinks for the next few weeks. This is our first ever partnership with the Australian shopping centre group who operates one of the world’s largest shopping centre portfolios with investment interests in 124 shopping centres across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Brazil, encompassing around 25,000 retail outlets. We are hopeful that this inaugural event will lead to more partnerships with the Westfield Group worldwide.
The Westfield Woden and Westfield Belconnen, each located in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, the country’s largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne.
Coming off the heels of a successful event in Bendigo, 2 hours northwest of Melbourne, we are excited to continue to expand our brand throughout the Australian coast and into Sydney as well. Demand for more events continues with a possible return to the Bendigo area in September and possible holiday season rinks in surrounding regions of Southeast Asia.
Expansion into this new market began last year when working in the extreme heat of the Arizona desert we a simple comment about it being winter somewhere on the planet, turned into an discussion about Australia and everyone’s desire to travel there at least once in their lifetime. On a whim we launched an impromptu marketing campaign through the province of NSW and to our delight we began to receive several interested replies. Finally after six to eight months we struck our first deal and packaged up our materials for the long trip down under.
While it was a challenging start into this new market, we feel confident that the decision to expand into Australia and Oceania has been and will continue to be a profitable venture and a positive step towards fulfilling the company’s global initiatives. Of course the success of the Australia/Southeast Asian market makes BHS a truly global company having to manage multiple time zones resulting in close to 24/7 account management. A challenge which we eagerly accept.
2012 is shaping up to be another exciting year for BHS and 2013 will no doubt be even more dynamic as we continue to position ourselves in the southeastern hemisphere, and launch further expansion opportunities in other parts of the world including here at home.