High-voltage reaction to Vern’s rent proposal

Vern Hiddlestone has had a big response to his idea. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d409692
Vern Hiddlestone has had a big response to his idea. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d409692

‘I had emails from landlords and real estate people waiting for me by the time I got into the office on the day the newspaper came out,’ Mr Hiddlestone said.

‘People are recognising that we cannot keep going down this road of closing and empty shops.’

The Hiddlestone Electrics owner said there were iconic shops and restaurants in Subiaco like Hobbs Shoes, Ray Clark menswear and Chutney Mary’s that the city could not afford to lose.

‘Business owners have been turning around and telling me their rent has either dropped or won’t be increased further and so they’ve decided to stay in Subiaco,’ he said. ‘It is a remarkable thing to see this change happening in front of my eyes, it makes me feel lovely.’

Hobbs Shoes and Picnic Clothing director Patrick Ahern said he wished more property owners in Subiaco would adopt Mr Hiddlestone’s view.

‘When the retail environment is tough like this, it is good to have a landlord who understands and can help you get through the difficult times,’ Mr Ahern said.

‘This is largely due to online shopping, the opening of grand retail hubs like Claremont Quarter and ENEX100, Subiaco losing a bit of its restaurant and cultural appeal and the cost of parking in Subiaco.