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Retail fate set in stone


jewellery, store window, blingAustralian jewellery chains, Angus & Coote and Shiels Jewellers, say high shopping centre rents have turned them into “sitting ducks”.

“High rents have pushed us to the limit,” says Toby Bensimon, MD of Shiels, adding that jewellery retailers are “sitting ducks” in today’s retail climate.

“When the industry was successful there were good margins to support the high percentage ratio.

“We are still paying that premium but landlords are living in a dream world.”

Andre Oosthuizen, GM of Angus & Coote, told The Australian Financial Review there needs to be a “recalibration of rent”.

“We have spent a lot of time talking to landlords and in recent times some concessions have been made, but we still have to break the perception that jewellers can pay premium rent”

According to figures compiled by leasing firm, South Australian Lease Management (SALM), jewellers can pay $500 to $1000 more in gross rent per sqm than fashion retailers.

Jewellers generally pay $2500 to $3000, however, the perceived centre drawcard of fashion rarely pays anything more than $2000.

Oosthuizen says Angus & Coote, which is Australia’s largest jewellery chain, can afford to push back at landlords, but smaller operators likely can’t.

The Australian Financial Review found that the overall growth of the jewellery market is out of alignment with rent increases in the last few years.

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