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Shopfitter shortage

RETAILERS are being urged to book shopfitters for renovations or refits well in advance.

Focus Shopfitters director Ian Gamble recommended shop owners got their shopfitters organised the moment they had their leases and designs finalised to reduce costs.

He said there was an Australia-wide shortage of shopfitters, mainly due to the amount of retail construction being done around Australia and works linked with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Westfield development executive Peter Miller said the first stage of the Carousel Shopping Centre redevelopment had not been affected by any shopfitter shortage.

“If anything there seemed to be a bit of nervousness from the shopfitting industry about getting involved with such a big project,” Mr Miller said.

“We are actually keen to get expressions of interest from shopfitters interested in the remaining 180 shops we have to fit out,” he said.

Mr Miller said it seemed the nervousness came from concerns about union involvement with the project. However, he said they have had good cooperation from the union.

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