The City of Fremantle says Myer’s announcement that it will close its port city store early next year provides clarity for the proposed redevelopment of King’s Square.
Myer announced today in its full-year results that it intended not to renew the lease of its Fremantle store, which has been in operation for 40 years.
The retailer justified the move by saying that the Fremantle store and its outlet in Elizabeth, South Australia, which it will also shut next year, contributed less than one per cent of total sales and Myer customers also shop at nearby stores.
Employees from Fremantle will be re-located to nearby stores, Myer said.
Acting Fremantle Mayor, councillor Josh Wilson, said the King’s Square redevelopment would be unaffected by Myer’s decision, with other retail and commercial opportunities being considered for some time.
Mr Wilson said the building has been operating below its potential for many years, with Myer operating from just two of its four levels.
“Myer has been part of the landscape in Freo for a long time, but of course the only certainty in life is change,” Mr Wilson said.
“Throughout its history, Fremantle has navigated its way through a number of significant transformations with flying colours.”
Owner of the Myer store’s building, Sirona Capital, echoed sentiments that the decision gave it certainty to move forward with its redevelopment.
Sirona acquired the building in August last year, and wasted no time in unveiling its $80 million plan to redevelop the centre.
Sirona said it would now ramp up discussions with other retail tenants keen to take up space in the 22,500 square metre commercial and office complex.
Also today, Myer confirmed that it would open a new store in Joondalup in financial year 2015.