Shop va­can­cies triple in 2018

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Vic­to­ria Ri­fici

SUBIACO busi­ness own­ers along Rokeby Road are op­ti­mistic about this year’s re­tail turnover de­spite shop va­cancy num­bers al­most tripling in mid-2018.

A Ray White Com­mer­cial Perth Re­tail Strips 2018 re­port found the strip had “taken a turn for the worse” and ex­pe­ri­enced the most change out of five sur­veyed ar­eas in Perth over a 15-month pe­riod.

The re­port found empty shop space in­creased to 15.19 per cent in Au­gust 2018 af­ter a recorded 5.94 per cent in June 2017, a re- sult of busi­ness clo­sures on the street and re­lo­ca­tions.

City of Subiaco Mayor Penny Tay­lor said of the 112 prop­er­ties on the Rokeby Road re­tail strip, only six were empty over the Christ­mas pe­riod and two va­can­cies were due to busi­ness op­er­a­tors mov­ing to larger premises in Subiaco.

Room for Two owner Pauline Meecham set up shop on Rokeby Road in May 2018 and was pre­vi­ously lo­cated on Barker Road.

“Busi­ness was a slow progress but I think in about Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber last year, we were get­ting the first hints that, yes, peo­ple were start­ing to pack into Subiaco,” Ms Meecham said.

“I think from this month, the way it is look­ing, we will prob­a­bly pass what we were ini­tially mak­ing.”

Bistro Felix owner Jeremy Cariss, who has been in busi­ness for 13 years, said he was not sur­prised by the fig­ures and hoped busi­ness would im­prove in 2019.

Ta­ble Cul­ture co-owner Emma Mccarthy, who has run her busi­ness on Rokeby Road for 14 years, said the re­port’s find­ings were no shock but she was op­ti­mistic for 2019.

“There have been a few macro fac­tors im­pact­ing re­tail over the past two years, in­clud­ing the con­tract­ing WA econ­omy and shift in con­sumer spend­ing,” she said.

“There has been a lot of sup­port from the City over the last 18 months with ini­tia­tives that help make do­ing busi­ness in Subiaco more ef­fi­cient.”

Ray White Com­mer­cial WA di­rec­tor Brett Wilkins said there was hope on the hori­zon for re­tail.

A sur­vey re­stricted to the Rokeby Road strip last month found va­can­cies re­duced to 9 per cent.

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