Drop in foot traf­fic leaves sour taste with yo­ghurt busi­ness

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Lisa Thomas

AN­OTHER Su­bi­aco busi­ness will close this month af­ter less than two years on Rokeby Road.

Menchie’s Frozen Yo­ghurt has fol­lowed in the footsteps of Su­bi­aco’s Purl Bar and Jesters, claim­ing dis­mal sales from a lack of foot traf­fic.

The busi­ness will soon be­come one of up to nine va­cant build­ings along Rokeby Road.

Menchies own­ers An­nal­isa and Ja­son Hutchin­son started the busi­ness two years ago this month with hopes of fran­chis­ing.

Mrs Hutchin­son said those plans were soon dashed by low sales from is­sues with park­ing, low foot traf­fic, high wages and road works along Rokeby Road.

“I’ve spo­ken to a lot of busi­nesses along Rokeby Road and they are all strug­gling to make ends meet,” she said.

“Peo­ple don’t want to come to Su­bi­aco un­less they have to. It is not an easy place to visit.

“It’s re­ally sad we have to close down. We are a hus­band and wife team and we have tried ev­ery­thing to make it work.”

She said pay­ing week­end penalty rates had also killed the busi­ness.

“Why do peo­ple need to get paid dou­ble time for work­ing a Sun­day when ev­ery­where else Sun­day is a nor­mal trad­ing day?” she said.

A re­view into penalty rates is cur­rently un­der­way, with the Fair Work Com­mis­sion ex­pected to re­lease its re­port next month.

The Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion has rec­om­mended that as part of the re­view Sun­day rates in cer­tain in­dus­tries be cut to match Satur­day rates.

Mr Hutchin­son said be­fore mov­ing to Su­bi­aco re­search sug­gested the foot traf­fic was a lot higher, but the loss of shops and Mar­kets on Rokeby had hurt the sub­urb.

“No one is com­ing to Su­bi­aco… it’s not a des­ti­na­tion peo­ple want to visit,” he said.

Su­bi­aco chief ex­ec­u­tive Don Bur­nett said the City con­tin­ued to work to ad­dress is­sues in the town centre with the Su­bi­aco Ac­tiv­ity Centre Plan.

“It’s al­ways dis­ap­point­ing when busi­nesses close,” he said.

“We are cur­rently work­ing on a num­ber of strate­gies to in­crease visi­ta­tion to Su­bi­aco and the town centre, in­clud­ing a town centre des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing strat­egy and eco­nomic devel­op­ment strat­egy.

“The City is work­ing hard to ad­dress is­sues con­fronting busi­nesses. How­ever, land­lords need to take some re­spon­si­bil­ity in as­sist­ing their ten­ants in these dif­fi­cult times.”

An­nal­isa Hutchin­son will be clos­ing down her busi­ness af­ter only two years of trad­ing.

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