PATRONS have expressed disappointment a long-time independent retailer and the butcher have recently left Livingston Marketplace.
A Cut Above sold their business nearly 18 months into a five-year lease and left on January 21, at a time they claim rents were increasing and foot traffic wasn’t following suit.
A Cut Above has set up shop in Kwinana Marketplace where they say they get more support and promotion.
Marion Wray, whose partner owns the butcher shop, told the Canning Times plenty of businesses were behind in rent at the centre.
She was concerned Livingston Marketplace wasn’t doing enough to draw people to the centre, especially with Carousel’s expansion taking place.
A key cutter also left recently at the end of his lease, fearing his business would be unlikely to sustain proposed increases in rent.
In the wake of their departure, two patrons contacted the Canning Times to express concern the independent retailers would be replaced with chains stores.
A spokesman for Livingston Marketplace said the shopping centre offers customers the convenience of two major retailers, Big W and Woolworths, as well as a number of smaller specialty stores including 19 independent retailers.
“The centre enjoys in excess of three million visitors each year, and we are always looking at ways to improve our retailer mix to meet the needs of our customers and ensure their experience with us is both relevant and enjoyable each time they visit,” he said.
“We have welcomed several new tenants and the centre is currently trading well and at capacity – without vacancy.
“Livingston Marketplace is currently undergoing a $1.8 million refurbishment which has already seen improvements to the external facade, with the addition of a new car wash.
“Inside the centre, we have upgraded lighting to boost efficiency which will benefit our retailers long-term. Other work includes new furniture, upgrades to amenities and a new parents’ room.
“We continue to work with retailers to ensure our customers have an easy and enjoyable experience every time they visit Livingston Marketplace.”
Colleen Garrison said she has been shopping at Livingston’s retailers since it opened.
“Most of them have been there since the centre opened; everyone knows the owners, some people have formed friendships with the businesses. They provide a consistently good service: if they hadn’t, they would have left years ago,” she said.
“Now I find that our favourites are leaving, one by one.
“I couldn’t believe that the butcher would leave; everyone loved them and their product was exceptional. And since Joe the key cutter had been there from day one, his leaving was inexplicable.
“Canning Vale already suffers from an image problem as the Industrial Centre with an airport, a prison and a freight line. Lets keep what tiny glimpses of individuality we have in order to retain some semblance of a suburb with heart,” Ms Garrison said.