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The locality or the business model - what's more important?

The Public Interest Assessment policy on the Racing, Gaming and Liquor website divides the suburbs of Perth into two regions for consideration when submitting any of the following liquor licence applications – Tavern, Hotel, and Liquor store. The policy distinguishes between suburbs that require a 2km consideration of venues that trade in a similar manner, and suburbs that require a 3km consideration. 

Proper consideration and critical analysis of the locality you are in is crucial to the success/failure of your liquor licence application and also your business model. The question therefore becomes, is the locality definition better suited to a successful liquor licence application? Or is positioning your business close to the clientele you want to attract more important?

The suburbs that require a 2km consideration are the inner metropolitan region of Perth. In these suburbs public transport is more readily accessible and there is more dense foot and car traffic. Suburbs with a 2km consideration are often the popular choice for new hospitality operators simply because there is ‘more’ opportunity for business and access to a larger amount of people. Examples are suburbs like Highgate, Subiaco and Mount Lawley.

Beaufort Street at night

However, these same reasons attract a higher density of licensed premises, bringing increased competition and potentially making the liquor licence application harder and less certain.

This means that businesses who take the gamble of the inner suburbs have to offer a unique product that can cater to the needs of the public in a way other venues in the locality cannot. 

The other option is setting up your business in Perth’s outer-metro suburbs, where consideration has to be given to all packaged liquor venues within 3km. Outer metro suburbs have growth potential, but are usually less mature and have a smaller population. So they might be less attractive in the short-term, but have more upside over the long term.

Greenfield site near Armadale

So, what do you do?

You need to critically consider what is best for the business you are wanting to create, and weigh up the positives and negatives of both situations. Knowing exactly what your business is, the people you want to cater to and creating a product offering that is new, wanted and unique, irrespective of where in Perth you are, is incredibly important. 

In saying all of this, Perth, and WA, is a rapidly growing and sprawling city/state. At the moment, these growing, outer suburbs of Perth are providing incredible opportunities for operators to get in on the ground floor.

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