Retail avalanche

SMALL businesses aren’t the only ones struggling, with Mountain Designs set to close its Freo store due to “tough trading conditions” in the Australian retail sector.

The outdoor clothing and adventure company’s departure will be a new hit to the High St Mall. It’s part of a nationwide push to reduce the company’s “retail footprint”. 27 of its 39 stores will be affected.

• Mountain Designs is closing its Freo store.

A Mountain Designs spokesperson said it is adapting to changing pressures in the retail sector. “Some of these include increased competition, price discount fatigue, a decline in national consumer foot traffic, and new broadening technology platforms and online services.”

The spokesperson confirmed a $7 million loss in 2016, partly attributed to exiting the New Zealand retail industry in 2014/2015. The Freo store’s closing date isn’t confirmed.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams says the announcement from Mountain Designs was “regrettable”, especially given its new location in the Fremantle Mall, but noted the company was closing a large number of stores across Australia.

by ALICE ANGELONI

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