12/09/2006 - 22:00

Staying up to speed in retail

12/09/2006 - 22:00

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Perth-based national retail advisory group Retail Pace is under new management, after former director Darryll Askworth sold it for an undisclosed sum last month.

Staying up to speed in retail

Perth-based national retail advisory group Retail Pace is under new management, after former director Darryll Askworth sold it for an undisclosed sum last month.

The business began trading under its new management on August 1, and currently looks after a generous portfolio of clients, including Flight Centre, RAC, Zamels, Mazzucchelli’s, and Domino’s through its offices in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Retail Pace’s new directors, retail leasing specialist Dean McAskil and his business partner, Paul Milton, a former Westfield and Colonial First State leasing executive, said Mr Askworth was moving in a different direction with a separate business, which provided an opportunity for the pair to take on Retail Pace’s established brand and clients while also bringing their own clients to the table.

“Paul and I have been friends for over 16 years and worked together at Knight Frank for five of those. At times we’ve been in competition, but now that we’re in business together we’re finding out that we have complementary skills,” he said.

Mr McAskil knows both sides of the retail sector. He has worked in the industry for the past 20 years – as a director of retail services for Knight Frank responsible for leasing, marketing and management of the state’s biggest retail portfolio, and also in private practice, representing the interests of retailers since the year 2000.

Mr McAskil said sourcing new sites for tenants, particularly opportunities in new developments, would be a large focus for the growing business, as well as lease renewals, rental reviews, negotiating commercial terms, preparing acquisition reports before sales, and conflict resolution.

Retail Pace will work on behalf of retailers only, and will not take fees from landlords or agents, he said.

According to Mr McAskil, it wasn’t the demand for space in Perth’s current market that had pushed rental costs, but rather the fact that institutional investors were buying expensive retail property and then driving higher returns through rental charges to cover costs.

Armed with a new lease management system called Lease Eagle by Synetek Systems, Retail Pace can manage the data from more than 10,000 tenancies and create detailed profiles of almost every shopping centre in WA, and in those states in which it operates.

Mr McAskil said the software allowed it to manage large property portfolios, analyse sales and create benchmarks for future negotiations.

The program was now operating across their network of offices, and would provide a platform for the business to target major national retailers.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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