A CLAREMONT warehouse will be partially occupied by furniture and curio retailer Empire in a planned move to the former Bunnings site on Leura Avenue by early November.
“It really suits our style of retail, with open braced, high roofs and lots of space,” Empire general manager David Johns said.
The warehouse roof is now being replaced, and its walls painted, before the move.
Mr Johns said the new site would have a cafe and allow expansion of the business, which had been restricted by the size of its current shop on nearby Bay View Terrace.
The 1300sq m warehouse will be three times larger than the shop, and be staffed by employees from Empire’s other stores in Fremantle, Osborne Park and Mt Lawley.
Additional staff may be hired if needed.
The site has been vacant for about a year since Bunnings moved 100m south to occupy all of the former Bayview Centre on Stirling Highway.
Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said Empire’s arrival to the precinct would add another retail experience in the town precinct.
“And it would be great if there were a different type of business that moved into the other, still vacant lower half of the warehouse,” Mr Barker said.
Pet stores Pet Barn and City Framers have both been suggested tenants of the remaining part of the site.
A spokeswoman for Pet Barn said it did not have any interest in moving, and Sydney-based City Farmers did not return calls.