Myer’s future in Brisbane CBD shopping precinct under a cloud as it refuses to renew lease

Myer’s future in major CBD shopping precinct under a cloud as it plans to close flagship store in prime spot it has occupied for 35 years

  • Myer has been flagship store in Brisbane’s Myer Centre for 35 years
  • It will leave the department store once its lease expires in July
  • Landlord currently looking at future plans for mall

Myer is not renewing its lease at a shopping centre that has borne its name for over 30 years, sparking fears over its future in the CBD.

The retail chain has decided not to renew its lease at the Myer Centre in Brisbane’s CBD and will leave the site in July this year.

Daily Mail Australia understands that the decision came after months of protracted negotiations with the landlord and follows several store closures around the country as part of Myer’s consolidation strategy.

Myer will leave the Myer Centre in the Brisbane CBD at the end of its lease in July this year

This is despite the once-ailing emporium recently posting its best profit since 2014.

Last week, Myer recorded a 24.2 per cent lift in sales to $1.884b for the 26 weeks to January 28, as net profit rose over 100 per cent to $65m, according to The Australian.

Retail expert Professor Gary Mortimer told Daily Mail Australia the decision to close the centre that bears its name had ‘come as a surprise’.

‘Clearly Myer CEO John King has been able to turn the business around,’ he said. 

‘Look at their half-yearly results, $1.8billion in sales – 24 per cent higher than the same time last year.

‘But what we are seeing in Brisbane is a good example of the challenges that retailers now face when it comes to leasing space within a shopping centre.

‘I think it’s less around the brand of Myer and more around the poor conditions of the centre.’

Professor Mortimer, who lives near the mall and walks through it frequently, said it was old and tired.

‘I think Myer has looked at the centre and saw it is tired and needs investment and without that, it’s incredibly difficult for a retailer to maintain a flagship store,’ he said.

He added: ‘Obviously John King has put in significant cost savings for the business. They went through a process over the last few years, much like David Jones, where they closed stores that were no longer servicing a community because the demography had changed.’

Myer posted a 24.2 per cent lift in sales to $1.884bn for the 26 weeks to January 28

Myer posted a 24.2 per cent lift in sales to $1.884bn for the 26 weeks to January 28

A Myer spokesperson said they were unable to reach ‘appropriate and reasonable commercial terms’ with the landlord but were still committed to maintain a presence in Brisbane’s CBD.

Myer CEO, John King, said: ‘Whilst we remain committed to the Brisbane market, we have been unable to negotiate a reasonable commercial outcome with the landlord and as such will continue to look for an alternative CBD location.’

The company said staff will be able to work at other nearby stores.

A spokesperson for centre co-owners Vicinity and ISPT said they had no definite plans for the centre.

‘Vicinity and ISPT were investigating a number of options for the centre including a downsized contemporary department store and plans without a department store which we can now progress with certainty.

‘We look forward to delivering a reimagined destination in the heart of Brisbane’s evolving CBD and anticipate sharing our plans shortly.’

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