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Beville's CBD store to close after 10 years
Beville's CBD store to close after 10 years

Bevilles Jewellers closes CBD store

Bevilles Jewellers is closing its high-profile, Bourke Street Mall outlet in Melbourne after being trumped by Swarovski on a new lease deal.
While the signs on Bevilles Jewellers landmark store scream “closing down sale” and “60 per cent off”, it’s not doom for the iconic jewellery retailer.   

Managing director, Michelle Stanton explained that the company is reluctantly closing the store later this month.  “The lease was up and we put in a bid to renew, however the landlord decided to go out to market after international interest [from other retailers].”

After a decade at Bourke Street the retailer’s store count will be 28 but with three new outlets in the pipeline, Stanton is buoyant about the long-term future.

Stanton explained that Bevilles will soon open new stores at the DFO centre in Moorabbin, Victoria; Mount Druitt in Sydney and Elizabeth in South Australia.

The current Bourke Street store, a few doors up from David Jones, Myer and the new Zara outlet, will soon become a new Swarovski store and according to the Australian Financial Review, Swarovski is reported to be paying more than $1 million for the 105 square metre store.

There are currently seven Swarovski stores in Victoria. With the opening of the Bourke Street store, the Elizabeth Street outlet will cease operation.

Stanton believes competing with international retailers is a new challenge that Australian retailers must contend with. “International players have come to town and they have the ability to pay fabulous rent. The right rent moving forward [for smaller companies] is difficult, due to these international companies,” Stanton said.

Bevilles has traded since 1934 and although it won’t be the first time the retailer has not had a store in central Melbourne, Stanton said the company would consider a new city store at the right rental and location.

Bevilles opened the current Bourke Street Mall store in 2001 after vacating another Bourke Street location in 1995, which meant it had no CBD location from 1995 to 2001.

The retail industry is going through a difficult time with consumer spending in sharp decline and with the emergence of online retailing and the introduction of many foreign branded retailers like Swarovski moving into the Australian market, Stanton said it has forced retailers to re-think business strategies.

“We remain positive about our future, the climate may be tough right now, but I feel we have a range of initiatives as part of our 3 to 10-year plan that are very customer focused. We believe our customers will respond positively to it,” Stanton said.  

“With every change there is always opportunity. If you have a plan to be more responsive to your customers, then we can succeed. We’re in tough seas, we’re in the boat, but I look ahead and I don’t only see tidal waves,” she added said.

More reading:
Retail tenancy agreements unfair to jewellers
The big squeeze

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