By Martin Vedris

EPPING, VIC: Retravision Southern is holding a closing down sale at the former-McKnights owned store in Epping and the shopfront is reportedly to cease trading at the end of December.

Retravision Southern was hoping to sell the Epping store as a going concern because the company wants to pull out of the business of company-managed stores.

However, Retravision has been unable to secure a buyer for the business, which is now in shut down mode with a closing down sale now on.

Epping is one of five Retravision stores that were originally owned by the McKnight family, but were purchased by Retravision and then put back on the market for sale under the Retravision banner. Three of the five stores have been sold with Ringwood the most recent sale in September.

Mentone and Epping have not yet been sold, the Epping lease is up for renewal, so Retravision has decided to close it down.

“The lease is up, the store has been for sale for a year and they had a few interested parties but nothing has come through,” said Carman Sassano, who has been a Retravision store manager for 18 years.

“We just started closing down a week ago and hopefully they’re going to try to place us in stores. The staff have been asked to stay on until the closure in December.”

Sassano said Retravision was currently directing run out stock to the Epping store and that the sale has brought in customers.

“Before we put the closing down sale on our windows, it was pretty quiet … the first ad that’s going in is this week’s newspaper, but the amount of people we’ve had in during the past five days! People are looking for bargains. There are still people out there willing to part with money but at the right price.”

According to Sassano, who said he had considered buying the Epping store at one point, the business was trading well, but the rent was a major reason it hadn’t been sold.

“It was performing, it wasn’t for lack of sales but unfortunately the lease is expiring … the lease is very high here… which is probably the major factor why no-one has bought it.

“I know the first owners of this building and they actually looked at it too but they ended up buying the Water Gardens store. Their conclusion was that the rent was too high. I had a look at it, did the sums, spoke to my accountant and he said it wasn’t viable.”

Current contacted Retravision Southern for comment, but the CEO, Tim Cockayne, and retail operations manager, Brad O’Brien, were in board meetings.