Profits are up and online sales have more than doubled, but the owner of well-known rag traders such as Peter Alexander and Just Jeans has said Australia’s rental rates might force more store closures.
Premier Investments, the parent company of high-profile retailers that also include Jay-Jays, Portmans and Smiggle has already closed 14 stores in Australia recently, blaming the high cost of renting floor space.
Today the company posted a $46 million after-tax profit for the half year to 26 January, a 20.7% improvement on the corresponding period, and said its online sales had grown 51%, despite the serious headwinds facing bricks-and-mortar retailers.
But Premier Retail boss Mark McInnes, the former chief executive of David Jones, warned store closures were still on the cards.
“Unfortunately, 14-loss making stores were closed in Australia during the season as a result of unsustainable rental costs in Australia.”
“Further store closures will occur if the rents expected by landlords are not in line with the performance of the centre or the market generally,” McInnes said.
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