The retail sector has been one of the drivers of growth in Armidale in recent years with three large shopping centres hosting most well known national chains. Development in this sector has been unprecedented including the construction of the Centro Shopping Centre, a $60 million development anchored by Woolworths, Big W and 30 specialty stores, the refurbishment and rebranding of Kmart Plaza (now Armidale Plaza) a $50 million venture anchored by Kmart, Target Country and 50 specialty stores, a Bunning Warehouse, the introduction of new bulky goods complexes in the West End light industrial area and the refurbishment of Girraween Shopping Centre.
The Coles and Woolworths supermarkets along with the huge variety of mainstream, bulky goods and boutique stores are attracting shoppers from all around the region.
Armidale is well served with many independent retail stores including coffee shops, deli-cafés and bookshops. There are also many exclusive fashion stores, several arcades with small independent retailers and a bustling mall in Beardy Street nestled amongst heritage listed buildings creating an atmospheric heart to the city.
Armidale is fortunate to have its entire retail centre all within easy walking distance providing access to all shops and services.
Armidale is nestled in the New England High Country and regularly plays host to major events which attract large numbers of visitors and is a tourist attraction in its own right attracting tourists all year round. Whether they are visiting for business or pleasure they are drawn towards the shopping precinct. Based along Beardy Street its tentacles spill over into Moore Street, Faulkner Street, Dangar Street and Cinders Lane. With a reputation for boutique shops there are many, independently owned, retail outlets which have developed concepts appealing to shoppers looking for something different. Many of these stores offer that rare mix of a quality experience, expected of metropolitan centres, but delivered with traditional regional warmth.