Furniture chain closes stores amid virus impact
A LEADING Queensland furniture retailer has closed its three brick-and-mortar stores and moved to a warehouse and online model amid the continuing fall out from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Out of the Patio has closed its shops in Fortitude Valley, the Sunshine Coast and Aspley and is now using its existing warehouse at Seventeen Miles Rocks as a retail outlet.
Retailers such as Out on the Patio are facing falling revenue due to the COVID-19 shutdown that makes maintaining large retail premises increasing unsustainable.
A company spokesperson said the COVID-19 situation had contributed to the shift to the new business model, which was so far working satisfactorily.
Out on the Patio sells outdoor dining sets, lounges and sun umbrellas. It also supplies outdoor furniture to holiday resorts, schools, body corporates, hospitality areas and cafes and restaurants.
QUT retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer said an increasing number of retailers would reduce the number of stores and increase their online presence in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There also will be some retailers who will move their operations entirely online," said Dr Mortimer. "Retailers are realising they can get a significant amount of sales online and they don't have leasing and other costs."
Thousand Island Dressing New Farm, a popular boutique in one of Brisbane's wealthiest suburbs, has shut its doors amid the continuing fallout from the coronavirus shutdown but will continue to sell products on Instagram.
The jewellery and homewares boutique, owned by local Ellen Geraghty, has informed customers it has closed after 14 years in the Merthyr Village shopping centre. The other independently owned Thousand Island Dressing Boutique at Paddington remains open.
Retail experts are warning that shopping centres will either have to transform themselves or risk becoming the Australian equivalents of the US' "dead" or "zombie malls".
Target has announced it would close 75 stores, many of those in modest malls. Even before COVID-19, Myer had pulled out of malls in Sydney and Brisbane while Big W has vacated four stores has around 30 left to axe. This week David Jones said it would look to slim down in size.
Originally published as Qld furniture chain closes stores amid virus impact