Alex Perry to shut flagship Sydney store

Designer and reality TV personality Alex Perry will close his fashion brand’s only Australian store next month.

Mr Perry blamed a lack of foot traffic coupled with his booming online trade for calling time at Sydney’s The Strand Arcade – but isn’t ruling out opening an eponymous outlet again.

Alex Perry stock retails at more than 100 outlets in 30 countries.

“Why would I renew a lease for another three, four, five years when it is far more economical and we make a lot more money online than what we do with all the expenses you incur when you have [a] bricks and mortar [store],” the stylist told The Daily Telegraph, which first reported the closure.

“Business-wise, if it is making more sales online and the costs are significantly less, then you can do other stuff with that money,” Mr Perry added.

The company’s online store generates four times as many sales as the Sydney outlet, which has been negatively impacted by recent construction of the city light rail project.

Don’t render bricks and mortar useless yet

Mr Perry echoed a sentiment which has been recently made by other business owners, landlords, developers, agents – and consumers: that the standard of retail needs to improve to motivate savings-focused buyers into a store.

Research houses have gone further to say shoppers are increasingly demanding retail experiences (including events) and, at shopping centres, wider food options.

In 2018 we reported that the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon, was continuing to open bricks and mortar stores.

In Australia, however, retail landlords are bracing for a surge in supply following changes, or closures, to brands including Bardot, Big W, Diana Ferrari, EB Games, Ed Harry, Harris Scarfe, Jeanswest, Napolean Perdis and Ziera.

Last month, Kaufland canned plans to open in Australia after spending two years acquiring sites, and pushing through planning proposals, for its landmark hypermarket stores.

Kaufland also head-hunted several senior executives as part of its local expansion plan.

Its portfolio of properties, including what will be the country’s biggest distribution centre, measuring 115,000 square metres and estimated to be worth $459 million, in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Mickleham, is expected to now be sold-down.

Toys r Us, which went into administration in 2018 and closed 44 stores, bucked the trend 14 months later re-opening bricks and mortar Australian outlets.

Alex Perry is a judge on Fox8 reality TV show Australia’s Next Top Model.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco