Store set to close as lease negotiations fail
HANDBAG and accessories store Colette by Colette Hayman will close the doors to its Hinkler Central store, after staff members were told of the pending closure last week.
Store manager Candice Wallace is one of six people who will be without a job from February 20, the store's last day of trading.
Ms Wallace urged customers with gift cards to "come in and use them” before the store closed.
The full-time manager has worked at the store for three years and said while it was disappointing, she was confident her experience would see her find another job.
"When one door closes another one opens,” she said.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity and the experience I've been able to learn.”
Ms Wallace said the store opened in Bundaberg about five years ago and as well as herself, employed one permanent part time assistance manager and four casual staff members.
"It did come as a shock,” she said.
"I knew the lease was coming up and in the end head office decided it wasn't going to resign.”
Colette was founded in 2010 and has more than 180 stores across four countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK.
The NewsMail understands Colette's lease with Hinkler Central ended late last year and the chain was unable to negotiate a suitable, viable extension.
Asked directly if the rent being asked was a deciding factor, Hinkler Central centre manager Renee Pukallus said negotiations were confidential and she was unable to discuss the lease details.
"We work closely with all our retail partners, and we have reached a mutual decision with Collette Hayman for them to depart Hinkler Central following an extended period of close collaboration,” she said. "As contract negotiations are confidential, out of respect for our retailers we cannot discuss specific elements of their lease.