Fears massive Melbourne shopping centre could be demolished to make way for housing as iconic Kmart and Priceline stores suddenly close
- Shopping centre in Melbourne’s south-east could soon close their doors
- Rumours circulating a housing development could pop up in Wheelers Hill
- Shopping centre has been in use since the 1970s, 80 plus retailers in venue
There are fears a major Melbourne shopping centre is set to be demolished to make way for a massive new housing development.
Staff at Kmart and Priceline at the Brandon Park Shopping Centre in Wheelers Hill, in Melbourne’s south-east, have been told by management both would close forever by Christmas, the Herald Sun reported.
This has sparked rumours the entire centre, which was opened in 1970 and has more than 80 retail stores, is about to close.
The 23,000 square metre shopping complex also struggled to maintain foot traffic during the Covid pandemic, experiencing a significant drop of physical customers in store.
Priceline at Wheelers Hill in Melbourne’s south-east will soon be closing its doors permanently
Kmart workers have been informed the store in Melbourne’s south-east will close before Christmas, with a housing development looming (stock image)
High rent, early closing hours and an outdated venue in some parts have seen the complex fail to attract regular customers in recent years.
Hundreds of people could be out of work if the housing development is rubber stamped, with more than 80 retailers currently trading at the shopping centre.
In 2019, the complex was sold to Newmark Capital for a reported $135million, in a syndicate owned by ex-Hawthorn AFL player Chris Langford.
Melbourne’s south-east is already serviced by shopping centres at the likes of Eastland, Fountain Gate, Chadstone and Frankston.
Last week, Myer Holdings Limited confirmed speculation they will be closing the nearby Knox Shopping Centre store following more than 40 years of trading.
A statement said Myer factored in a significant increase in online profits following the pandemic in addition to the myriad of competing shopping centres in the area.
‘We thank our Knox team members for their significant contribution to Myer, and we look forward to continuing to serve our loyal customers either in nearby stores or online,’ Myer’s CEO, John King said in a statement confirming the decision.
‘Myer will support all impacted team members through a period of consultation and will look to redeploy as many team members as possible.’
A Kmart spokeswoman confirmed the store, which has been operation for the past 37 years at Brandon Park, will formally close in early January next year with the long term lease expiring.
‘Our lease is coming to an end and sadly, this means our store will be closing after Christmas, on January 8, 2022,’ the spokeswoman said in a statement.
‘We will spend the next few months working through redeployment opportunities for the team, but we’re happy to confirm that all permanent team members will been guaranteed jobs within the Kmart Group network of (nearby) stores.’
Daily Mail Australia contacted Priceline for comment.
The Brandon Park shopping centre (pictured above) is poised to be replaced by a housing development in Melbourne’s south-east
A surge in online sales has been a significant factor, with a number of competing shopping centres in Melbourne’s south-east also eating into each others profit (stock image)