Fashion designer Bettina Liano has added insult to injury in her assessment of Melbourne’s shopping scene, declaring the city’s retail sector “dead” after pulling out of the Victorian capital last month.
The jeans queen recently opened a store in New York’s Nolita district, revealing to the Wall Street Journal that she was paying only around $8600 in monthly rent for a store similar in size to her Melbourne outlet that cost around $18,000 a month.
Now she’s told trade magazine Ragtrader: “In Little Collins Street, there’s no traffic, it’s tumbleweeds.”
“It’s just been so quiet here… And you just can’t justify paying those rents any more.”
Liano’s Melbourne store was in Chapel Street, South Yarra. According to research by property firm Knight Frank, the vacancy rate in Chapel Street crept up to 4.3%, above its long-term average of 3.2%.
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