Melbourne, the preferred location for corporate HQs

Melbourne has surpassed other Australian capital cities as a corporate location due mostly to declining activity in the resources sector.

Perth, a corporate centre for mining and energy, lost almost 100 ASX-listed firms to 652 in 2016. Melbourne was the only city to gain between 2013 and 2016.

That is the period studied by University of Queensland geographer Thomas Sigler, who analysed the distribution of ASX-listed company headquarters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The study found that the changes reflected a shift to the knowledge economy across cities, with central and CBD-fringe locations the most desirable.

Change was driven by the healthcare and information technology sectors, which showed the greatest company HQ gains.

While Melbourne was the only city to gain HQs over the period, its central business district like the other four in the study also lost HQs. In Melbourne, however, new headquarters located in the inner city in South Melbourne, Southbank and Richmond.

David Jones, now owned by South Africa’s Woolworths, transplanted head office to Melbourne, after 179 years in Sydney to join stablemate Country Road Group.