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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (259 Articles)

A review of the Retail Leases Act 1994 is taking place
A review of the Retail Leases Act 1994 is taking place

Jewellery retailers help reform leases

Jewellery retailers are being asked to contribute to a new proposal that aims to reform retail lease agreements, while ensuring fair and efficient dealings with landlords.

The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) is preparing a submission as part of a review of the Retail Leases Act 1994 – conducted by the Small Business Commissioner of the NSW Government – and is calling upon retailers for assistance.

Data shows that jewellers pay 13.5 per cent more rent per square metre than the average of all other specialty retailers.

Supporting the JAA’s claim is leasing advisory firm South Australian Lease Management, which reported last year that jewellers will typically pay a gross rent of between $2,500 and $3,000 per square metre whereas non-jewellery retailers in similar locations and size pay between $1,500 and $2,000 per square metre.

Rising retail rents imposed by landlords despite reduced consumer spending has been a growing concern in the industry; prominent jewellery chains Shiels Jewellers and Angus and Coote were featured in an Australian Financial Review (AFR) article in 2013 championing the cause of jewellers facing unrealistic rent hikes.    

The compulsory provision of sales data to landlords and a first and last right of refusal on renewals will be two topics addressed in the submission.

The review will focus on seven areas:
  • Information asymmetries between landlords and tenants;
  • Unclear retail leasing arrangements;
  • Unequal negotiations strength; 
  • Economic exploitation of some leases by some leasers, particularly in large    centres; 
  • Unconscionable conduct;
  • Unfair practices that have occurred; 
  • Compensation by landlords for business disturbance.
Retail members of the JAA are invited to submit any examples of dealings with landlords that would appear to breach one or more of these areas.

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 30 January 2014.

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