Lights Out For Dymocks -High Rents and Antisocial Behaviour Force Closure
Dymocks Bookshop in Fremantle’s High street Mall is to close in mid-May as a result of high rents and anti social behaviour.
Clive Klikker, the manager of the family owned business said: “We pay $250,000 rent here while we know stores close by, in the High Street, pay around $100,000. We have tried to negotiate with the owners, the Manning Trust, but they will not listen”.
Mr Klikker went on to explain the decision is the result of several issues: “We’ve had a spate of antisocial behaviour. I had a can of Jim Beam and Coke thrown over me about two weeks ago and last week somebody tried to destroy our counter. He came in asking for scissors but I wouldn’t let him have them, his behaviour indicated that may not have been wise. He then proceeded to try to wreck the counter. The police simply said ‘Oh, he’s harmless, he probably wanted them to cut his guitar strings’.
“We do see a bright future for the city but not for ten years or so, when we have more people living here, when council’s development plans begin to work. The mall is a conduit for people but we have seen Queen Victoria Street refurbished, where there is virtually no pedestrian traffic, and nothing has been done here.
“I regret having to do this, we do have a viable business but with these high rents it has become impossible … and we’ve been here for ten years. The shop was here for several years before we took over and we know so many of our customers personally, we’re friends, but we cannot be viable with rents this high”.
Clive Klikker explained that he and other mall traders have repeatedly asked for the area to be upgraded with better street furniture and lighting but to no avail. In the absence of effective policing High Street Mall traders recently employed a small team of security guards to combat anti-social behaviour in the area.
New York Cheaper
Anecdotal evidence indicates that rents in Fremantle are higher than in high-profile shopping areas in New York.
Perth/Fremantle is the fourth most expensive city in the world according to Numbeo.com -well above New York, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore. Oslo tops the list.
NOTE: John Dowson Comments
Since this story was posted former Deputy Mayor John Dowson has added additional information relayed to him by the owners of Dymocks. Scroll to the comments below.