|AS Encel Stereo shuts up shop, co founder Alex Encel says the trendy area of Richmond, located 3km south east of CBD, Melbourne has "gone downhill" in recent times. |
Encel has been retailing at the Richmond address since 1951, but says a lot of shops and shoppers have now left the area.
Encel's store car park used to be chock-a-block, but now things have changed, a story that is repeated other high profile shopping areas like Sydney's Paddington, now more like a ghost town in parts, with 'To Let' signs appearing in many shop fronts.
Encel told CN he is selling his property to a medical group who offered him an undisclosed sum, but says its a high price.
The retail veteran has no plans to relocate the well known AV store, which he estimates would cost in the region of $1.5 million over 5 years, citing rental, interest and refurbishment costs.
"The industry is not the same as previous" says Encel, citing competition from the Internet "a combination of local and overseas" eroding margins.
"In the past, we had much higher margins", but online competition "has eroded margins drastically while costs have gone up".