Place-based research recognised with prestigious award

Lou Grimmer

A College of Business and Economics academic has received international recognition for her place-based research which is exploring the revitalisation of Tasmanian retail precincts.

Senior Lecturer in Marketing Dr Louise Grimmer has been awarded the prestigious Senior Fellow title with the Institute of Place Management (IPM).

IPM is an international professional body which supports individuals who are committed to developing, managing and making places better.

Each year, the institute identifies and commends outstanding place managers and leaders from across the world by bestowing the Senior Fellow title.

Dr Grimmer was the only Australian to be elected by IPM this year, recognised for her research and impact in place and retail-related topics.

“The Institute of Place Management has been leading the way with research and scholarship focussed on the recovery of High Streets across the UK, and tackling the really big issues around the impact of COVID-19 on the future of retailing in towns and cities,” Dr Grimmer said.

“I’ve drawn on the research of leading IPM scholars in the work I’ve been doing in Launceston – looking at drivers and barriers for city shopping as well as the factors that attract consumers to shop at shopping centres outside the CBD; and in the work I’ve just started with Burnie City Council which is looking at issues and opportunities for retailing in the city.

“I’ve also been lucky enough to be involved for a number of years now with the economic development and marketing team at Hobart City Council – as a member of many marketing grants panels, and lately on the City of Hobart Economic Business Consultative Group.

“Many of the issues facing retailing in the UK (and the US and Europe) are the same that we face here in Tasmania – the impact of COVID-19, the rise of online shopping, the hollowing out middle class affecting mid-tier retail brands, a flat economy and changing consumer shopping habits.

“A compelling issue for retailing precincts around the world, is what to do about empty shops and how we might reconfigure retail spaces and reimagine the role of retailing in cities.

“This is a body of work that I am particularly interested in at the moment and I hope to contribute to the emerging body of scholarly work in this area and to also make a contribution in a practical sense through working with local governments and other key stakeholders around Tasmania.”

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