FREMANTLE’S rebadged small business lobby group Freo Now has successfully launched its first initiative to fill empty shops with creatives.
Freo Now has secured seven empty shops for artistic pop-ups, with board member Samantha Reece saying the city’s shockingly high vacancy rates seem to have convinced landlords they can no longer sit idly by hoping for an economic downturn.
Three of the stores are in the High Street mall, while the others are on the corner of Henderson and Williams Streets.
Ms Reece says there’s already been a huge response from prospective tenants keen to trial their businesses in the CBD, but with only a peppercorn lease to worry about.
Freo Now chair Karl Bullers says they want no vacant shops in the CBD.
“There has been some negative press about Fremantle’s current retail status and hence we are looking to attract businesses that will become a destination shop in their own right and attract increased foot traffic for all surrounding businesses,” Mr Bullers said.
He said prospective tenants don’t need retail experience, but a unique business was vital to get a look-in.
by STEVE GRANT