Business closures not reflecting strong retail sector

Confidence remains: Jye Segboer has no doubt that the empty CBD shopfronts will soon be occupied again after a spate of business closures in recent months. Photo: Peter Hardin

Confidence remains: Jye Segboer has no doubt that the empty CBD shopfronts will soon be occupied again after a spate of business closures in recent months. Photo: Peter Hardin

Despite a spate of CBD businesses closing their doors in recent months, Peel street is far from losing its appeal according to prominent business figures, who claim that retail confidence has rarely been this high.

Since late last year more than fifteen businesses have either ceased trading or put their business on the market, including big names like Wray Organic, Level Up, Sanity, and Boost Juice.

Tamworth Square has recorded six businesses closing in that time alone, however business owners and centre management, Charter Hall, declined to comment.

According to Tamworth Business Chamber president Jye Segboer the string of closures throughout the CBD are nothing more than a coincidence.

“Individual circumstances have seen a bulk of closures all at the same time,” he said.

“I believe a lot of those businesses have been struggling for some time, but overall confidence is really high at the moment. The majority of businesses are booming and the reports we are getting are that many have recorded sales well up on last year.” 

Mr Segboer did point to power prices as a major factor impacting regional business, particularly hospitality, although did expect the empty shops wouldn’t remain that way for long.

Ray White Principal Malcolm Campbell confirmed that, agreeing with the Chamber that the string of closures is nothing more than an anomaly, brought to the attention of the public by those higher profile operations. 

“I know there has been some social media banter about shops closing and people not supporting local businesses, but long story short the last few years in Peel street have seen the highest occupancy rates in over a decade,” he said.

“The couple of businesses on Peel street and in the CBD that are vacant are already well into negotiations with new leasees, including Wray’s.”

“Tamworth is the fastest growing inland city in the state – we have had more enquiries from national companies for either franchise or company-owned stores than ever before.” 

“I have no doubt that those spaces will be filled quickly.”