Mixed fortunes for Prahran retailers

June 15, 2018 by  

Chapel Street Precinct Association president John Lotton has remarked that there are ‘blue skies ahead’ and the zone will make a comeback, meaning an eventual increase in activity for logo design firms and brochure printing services.

Historically one of Melbourne’s hottest shopping strips for high-end fashion, the Prahran precinct now looks like something of a retail graveyard. Currently, there are almost 40 shops in the strip between Toorak Road and Commercial Road that are vacant or have ‘for lease’ signs in their windows.

Mr Lotton noted that the previously derelict Windsor end of Chapel Street, south of High Street, has seen a marked improvement over the past decade. Visitors to the area who would have once seen only op shops, tattoo parlours, and niche retail stores now enjoy trendy bars and lively dining scene. The Association President believes that landlords at the northern end have been slow to move with changes in the fashion retailing market and offer more affordable leases. He attributed the downturn to other factors including an extensive construction project on the site of a major carpark, which has reduced the flow of foot traffic.

Even further north beyond Toorak Road, the transition is already underway, with the successful owners of popular burger restaurant Hello Sam reporting there were huge opportunities for entrepreneurs to re-enliven some of the vacant spaces in the precinct.

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