ACCC re-authorises voluntary code for pop-up shops

20 December 2017

The ACCC has today released a final determination granting re-authorisation to the Shopping Centre Council of Australia Ltd (SCCA) for its Casual Mall Licensing Code of Practice (the Code).

The voluntary Code applies to shopping centre owners and managers who sign on to it. It regulates the terms on which participating shopping centres will grant casual licences to temporary retailers such as 'pop-up' shops.

“The Code is likely to deliver certainty and transparency for permanent retail tenants about how casual mall leasing will operate near them," ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“In our draft determination, we noted concerns from some tenants that the Code hasn't served all retailers well in practice. The ACCC strongly encouraged the Shopping Centre Council to increase retailer representation on the Code Administration Committee. The SSCA accepted this suggestion and has invited additional retailers to join the Committee.”

“The Shopping Centre Council has also accepted in principle the ACCC’s suggestions to appoint an independent chair to the Code Administration Committee, and raise awareness of the Code amongst retailers,” Dr Schaper said.

The final determination grants re-authorisation for three years rather than the five years sought by the applicant. This will encourage the applicant and interested parties to engage productively over the concerns raised about the Code and demonstrate that it is working prior to any application for reauthorisation in three years.

The Code of Practice is voluntary. Shopping centres who have not signed up to it may still offer casual mall licences on terms they consider appropriate. The Code of Practice itself does not create the right to grant casual mall licences.

Further information is available on the public register: Shopping Centre Council of Australia Limited - Revocation and Substitution - A91591 & A91592

Background

The Shopping Centre Council of Australia in an industry body which represents Australia's major owners, managers and developers of shopping centres.

The ACCC has previously authorised a similar code of conduct in 2007 and 2013.

The ACCC issued a draft determination setting out its preliminary views before making its final decision.

Voluntary industry codes of conduct set out specific standards of conduct for an industry including how to deal with its members and customers. The ACCC can provide guidance to ensure that any voluntary code is well designed, effectively implemented, and properly enforced.

However, the ACCC's formal role is in granting authorisations to certain anti-competitive conduct on public benefit grounds. The ACCC does not have a role in regulating voluntary codes or the businesses involved.

Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs the any public detriment.

Release number: 
MR 253/17
ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

Media enquiries: 
Media team - 1300 138 917