Business struggles over signage issue

Store owner John O?Bryan said signage laws were too strict.
Store owner John O?Bryan said signage laws were too strict.

In a bid to drum up business, jewellery store Pop’s Gems has announced a ‘help me stay open sale’, offering his hand-made jewellery for half price just to stay afloat.

On the store’s Facebook page, it pleads: ‘Customers needed. Fifty per cent off all jewellery in store for the next two weeks’.

Store owner John O’Bryan said it was difficult to get people to know the Bridge Tower Village Centre shops existed.

‘To get shoppers here is hard ” people always come in and say ‘Wow, we didn’t even know you were here’,’ he said.

‘I’ve tried putting signs out at the roadside or at the roundabout on Pinaster Parade but the signs are taken away by the City of Swan.’

‘My intention was to run this store as a hobby, not to make money, but if I could cover the rent that would be nice.’

A few doors down from Pop’s Gems is the Trader’s Koffee Pot Cafe, whose current owners are the third in about 18 months.

Co-owner Candice Kovacs said the cafe had struggled with the council signage issue.

‘We wanted a blue street sign off Pinaster Parade that indicate there are actually shops down here, but it was declined,’ she said.

According to Mr O’Bryan, the bridge tower could also be a drawcard for visitors but it remains permanently locked due to frequent vandalism.

City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said poor placement of signs posed a safety risk to motorists and pedestrians.

‘The City of Swan has met on multiple occasions with The Bridge Tower Village Centre owners and also one of the business owners to discuss directional signage to the village and will continue to work with them to assist, where possible,’ he said.

‘The City will also be working on a project in the 2014-15 financial year to consider the viability of installing way finding signage in business areas within Ellenbrook.’