Retailers rocked by closures

Yuevenism co-owner Yumi Goh outside the store, which is up for lease just eight months after it opened.
Yuevenism co-owner Yumi Goh outside the store, which is up for lease just eight months after it opened.

‘I know you have to factor the poor economy into things, but by comparison, if you visit Mt Lawley the streets are buzzing,’ she said.

‘When it feels like ghost town, why would people come?’

On the Rokeby Road retail strip between Roberts Road and Bagot Road, nine shop fronts are either empty or in the process of closing down.

After more than five years at 151 Rokeby Road, Bella Hart Beauty Emporium closed its doors for the last time on June 15.

Owner Belinda Hart said foot traffic had dropped dramatically in the past 12 months.

‘The conditions in Subiaco retail are at their all-time worst and rent had reached astronomical levels, so when my lease came up, I didn’t feel confident to carry on,’ Ms Hart said.

‘When I first moved here, I spent six months trying to find property on Rokeby Road and even once I found it, I was in competition with two other multinational companies. Now empty shops line the street.’

However, in Subiaco Square, Balayage Hair Studio is booked up six weeks in advance.

‘We only opened three weeks ago and we’ve already had to take on another member of staff,’ co-owner Richard Bumford said. ‘Business has been absolutely brilliant since we opened.’

Last week, the owners of Yuevenism put the clothing boutique up for lease, just eight months after it first opened.

‘I like Subiaco and it is a shame to leave, but it does not promote itself,’ co-owner Yumi Goh said.

‘I wish we had been given more support.’

Visit Subiaco team leader Annaliese Doesburg said there was no denying retail was doing it tough in Subiaco.

‘Our aim is to put Subiaco back on the map through a continuous program of events and pockets of interest,’ Ms Doesburg said.