Retailers in shopping centres call for national guidelines and greater transparency

Retailers based in shopping centres are asking for national progress on issues that are currently either unclear or varying from state to state and territory to territory. Many electrical retailers, both company owned and franchised networked, have stores in shopping centres, including Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee and The Shaver Shop.

This is the view of the National Retail Association, which is currently backing retail leasing specialist Michael Lonie to press this case to the Australian Parliament when he goes before the Senate Standing Committee on Economics.

NRA chief executive officer Trevor Evans said retailers sought national guidelines on matters such as first right of refusal for tenants to renew their leases, better dispute resolution processes, fairer rent adjustment procedures, bank guarantee requirements, incentives transparency and contractual obligations concerning store refits.

“The NRA certainly supports a national approach to retail leasing arrangements to create a fairer system and reduce the burden on small to medium businesses, while also benefiting landlords,” Evans said.

“There’s no secret to this position.  It’s the same position we gave to the Productivity Commission inquiry on this subject in 2008, and again in 2014 when it examined the retail industry.

“It’s the same position we have given to a number of state-based reviews of retail leasing as well.  At some point retailers are entitled to ask ‘how many inquiries are needed before something will be done?’.

“We commend the Senate Committee for its interest in the subject, but we urge them to keep up political pressure and make sure Federal and State Governments act on their recommendations.”

What are the most important shopping centre issues to your business? Let us know in the comments below.

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