Billionaire retailer Lew walks away from Chapel Street
First Solly Lew walked out on Melbourne’s Bourke Street mall, now he’s saying goodbye to Chapel Street.
In another blow to the once-thriving shopping district, the billionaire rag trader said on Thursday he was closing three stores – Just Jeans, Dotti, and Smiggle – on the South Yarra strip because the rents were too high.
“The move is a true symbol of the changing nature of the retail market,” said Mr Lew, executive chairman of retail group Premier Investments.
Mr Lew has been on the warpath against landlords for several years, slamming them for unrealistically high rents.
“We continue to press landlords to offer rent in line with the changing consumer market … and further closures will occur for those landlords who do not respond”.