The answer usually given is "no." We'll see.
It was a beautiful day on Thursday with a coolish, sharp breeze so I went out. Caught the bus to the city and then on to Birkenhead Point. For those out of Sydney, this was probably one of the earliest factory outlets in Sydney. Possible good bargains, but rubbish as well. While it was on a point near the Iron Cove Bridge and theoretically was in a wonderful position, it's always been a bit of an eyesore. Cheap and nasty shops, lots of grime, few decent food outlets. The worst place however to me was Sp*otlight.
I rarely go to any Sp*tlight now. It's been almost two years since I went to the then new shop at Auburn. That was good, no idea what it's like now. The shop at Birkenhead Point was always a total mess. The aisles were narrow and the fixtures too close together. Shelves had things crammed on them and boxes spilled their contents over the floor. I know the assistants were poorly paid, but rudeness never helps anyone, them or the customer.
What a difference on Thursday. The whole shopping complex has had a makeover. More lifts and escalators have been installed. The area outside now has an enormous clear cover over it. Shops have been rebuilt and there seem to me to be more than I remembered although it's probably four years since I was there. Lots of landscaping has been done outside and I sat upstairs with a coffee and looked over the water. The food court downstairs is still being revamped but some shops open. I had a Turkish gosleme for lunch, potato, cheese, spinach and onion. Very nice and from a spotless, new, well organised outlet.
Sp*tlight is totally different. There is a new outlet and everything inside is bright and clean. It seems much better organised than I remember, and there are hanging signs marking different departments. I can't speak for the knowledge of the assistants. I bought only a 400 metre ball of sock wool which will probably be scarves or cowls and a Bronwyn Hayes Stitcheries herb garden embroidery. Everything was 20% off, so the two together cost just over $15. The girl at the register happily looked up my card number as I just then realised that was another card stolen in the break-in some months ago.
So I'm left wondering if leopards can indeed change spots or will they muddle to look like a giraffe or zebra. I suppose time will tell.