RETAIL giant MYER will close its doors at Dandenong Plaza next month.
The plaza's key attraction had experienced a rapid decline in sales and customer traffic over several years and centre owner GPT Group has pulled the pin on the struggling retailer.
Centre manager Mark Tannahill said MYER had "stagnated" and the time was right to part ways, after 24 years there.
And there she goes. It's surprising that Plaza owner GPT requested that MYER leave!
When MYER vacates next month, it will pave the way for German discount supermarket Aldi, entertainment and electronics chain JB Hi Fi, discount brands store Trade Secret and Japanese concept store Daiso, where everything on the shelf costs $2.80.
So, how is this good news for Dandenong? Aldi will either move into the Plaza from the market, or open up a second store. JB Hi Fi will also move into the Plaza and will almost certainly close it's current location across from the market (an area which has recently lost both Officeworks and The Good Guys). Trade Discount and Daiso are both discount stores — OK, but discount stores don't make regional attractors. It sounds like another win for the Plaza, and another net loss for Dandenong (in the short term).
"The Dandenong store represents less than one percent of total group sales ... data indicates that the majority of Dandenong customers were also choosing to shop at the new Myer Fountain Gate store."
That's not very surprising, as I wrote when I first came across this news.
The new retailers are expected to open in November next year and take up two of MYER's three levels. The third level is for lease.
Some redevelopment will also occur on the ground floor. Target currently sits below MYER, but there has always been a rather pointless entrance facing out on to McCrae Street, consisting solely of escalators, which will be replaced with 3 shops. As I mentioned last time, I think it's very important for this area to provide access into and out of the plaza. I also still think it unlikely this will be the case.