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Solomon Lew attacks retail landlords

Mark Fletcher
December 1st, 2019 · 1 Comment

In a story in The Age by Dominic Powell, Solomon Lew and CEO of his Premier Investments, Mark McInnes, have attached landlords:

‘Killing jobs, killing retailers’: Premier chiefs Lew and McInnes unleash on landlords

Premier Investments chief executive Mark McInnes and billionaire rag trader Solomon Lew have intensified their attack on major landlords, accusing them of “killing” local businesses by offering cheaper rent to international retailers such as H&M and Uniqlo.

Mr McInnes pointed to the recent collapse of womenswear chain Bardot as evidence landlords offering cheap deals to international retailers had forced up rents and ruined the retail market.

“Landlords have incentivised international retailers into this space. They’ve diluted the market and killed companies, and Bardot is just one of those,” he said.

“By incentivising [retailers like] H&M and Uniqlo and offering them more capital and better deals … they’re bringing down Australian companies, they’re killing Australian jobs and they’re killing Australian retailers.”

Rental pressures have compounded the broader issues within the retail sector over the last 12 months, which has been afflicted by slowing sales and weak consumer confidence despite tax cuts and three interest rate cuts.

Trade figures for the month of September failed to show any response to the recent fiscal and monetary stimulus and Mr McInnes confirmed the company was yet to see any meaningful response.

I think the way to get the attention of landlords is for retailers to not sign a lease unless they are certain they can make money, unless they are completely happy. Empty space focusses the attention of any landlord.

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Category: retail

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan Wilson // Dec 3, 2019 at 9:22 AM

    Landlords are offering incentives to new international players like H&M and Uniqlo and Zara because if they don’t, their competitor elsewhere in town will do it.
    A store like H&M or Uniqlo or Zara is the kind of store that can draw customers into a centre and increase foot traffic. Something like Bardot won’t do that.

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