Mainstreet SA's Patron, Adelaide Lord Mayor, Martin Haese.

I believe mainstreets are the most visible sign of the health of our cities and towns. A bustling mainstreet not only suggests a strong retail sector, but a close community of people who feel connection to the street itself.

Times are changing and our mainstreets face a range of challenges and opportunities.

As an entrepreneur, retail advisor and now Lord Mayor, I know the vital role South Australian mainstreets have in our community and the great work being done by many. However there are some important steps we must take to achieve further success and have mainstreets flourish into the future.

First, we need to understand the importance of collaboration and connection. Not only must mainstreet proprietors work together and utilise their collective strengths, but all stakeholders must be given a voice. Individual success can only be achieved with a community mindset.

Second, mainstreets must take a place-based approach. What happens around the shops is just as important as what happens in the shops. A great place is one which offers its patrons rich and immersive experiences. By transitioning from a transactional to experiential approach, retailers can build greater personal resilience and customer loyalty.

Third, mainstreets must be outward-looking. The challenges and opportunities faced by South Australian mainstreets are quite similar to those facing high streets in the UK and US. Let’s learn from the best and apply innovative thinking to our own shopfronts.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of Mainstreet SA. In only a few short years, this organisation has done much to progress the interests of South Australian mainstreets and I look forward to working closely with them in the future.