New plans are being laid for the vacant East St building in Rockhampton's CBD.
New plans are being laid for the vacant East St building in Rockhampton's CBD.

EXCLUSIVE: Proposed plans for empty shopfront revealed

A VACANT shopfront on one of Rockhampton CBD's most high-traffic streets may soon be back in action.

The Morning Bulletin understands Advance Rockhampton of Rockhampton Regional Council has approached the landlords of 131 East St in hopes a SPAR Supermarket will be developed.

Successful discussions between the two have now prompted the official call out for individual's interested in becoming franchisees.

The site has remained empty since its former tenant Bullzeye Country Wear went into liquidation following COVID-19 related difficulties earlier this year.

Now earmarked as a potential SPAR supermarket, the proposed new addition would make the convenience store one of only two in the CBD area.

 

East St could likely see the development of a new SPAR Supermarket in coming months.
East St could likely see the development of a new SPAR Supermarket in coming months.

The only other supermarket to reside somewhat in the area, though still a noticeable distance from the eastern area of East St, is Coles at City Centre Plaza.

However, the proposed store on the eastern side of the CBD would understandably prove high beneficial for both workers and visitors to the area.

SPAR Australia Business Development Manager Andy Rouse said an individual involved with Rockhampton Regional Council contacted him around 12 months ago.

"[Council] had done some SWOT analysis of the East St area and believed there was a requirement for some sort of small supermarket or convenience store in that location."

Mr Rouse said upon inspection by SPAR's regional manager the proposed site was given the tick of approval.

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A search is on for potential franchisee for a new SPAR Supermarket at East Street (Pictured is Sun Valley Spar Express owner Shane Ford).
A search is on for potential franchisee for a new SPAR Supermarket at East Street (Pictured is Sun Valley Spar Express owner Shane Ford).

"He believes there's some good potential there, it comes down to finding the right retailer."

"It's the same with any business, you can you find a good site but if you put the wrong operator in there it's not going to be successful."

Those considering the venture could expect an independently-run store in which the franchisee would be solely responsible for daily operations.

"The SPAR model does not run stores corporately, we're basically a warehouse for independent franchisee retailers but we assist retailers in the whole set up of the store."

"We help [franchisees] all the way through, but it's essentially their project. We're a banner they trade under, but we don't take a percentage of their profits," he explained.

All necessary analysis - along with financial sustainability checks - are undertaken prior to taking on the project.

Both introductory training and support into the retail industry would also be provided.

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131 East St is being earmarked as a potential new SPAR Supermarket.
131 East St is being earmarked as a potential new SPAR Supermarket.

"We need to make sure someone's financially sound, so if they want to do a project such as this, they've got enough working capital to fit it out, to stock it and then obviously run that business moving forward."

"We help them with all their plans including their project management, the fit outs, the whole works right up until the day they open," said Mr Rouse.

While the NSW-based businessman hoped to speak with plentiful franchisee hopefuls, he said the biggest priority came down to ensuring a long-term future.

"There's a lot of pieces to the puzzle - making sure we've got the right offer, the right retailer, it's priced right. There's a lot of boxes we have to tick."

Landlords were also reportedly willing to negotiate with potential tenants as the city looks to refill empty shopfronts on the street.

Rockhampton Regional Council have been approached from comment. A response was expected Friday morning. 

Individuals considering the opportunity should contact Mr Rouse on 0438 590 580 or by emailing arouse@spar.com.au.



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