High rents drive shops south of border
HIGH shop-front rents are pushing Queensland businesses south of the border, with Tweed City snapping up the shire's first dedicated drive-thru coffee shop.
Zarraffa's Coffee managing director Kenton Campbell said increasing high rent was the main reason for relocating his coffee shop from The Strand shopping centre at Coolangatta to Tweed City in South Tweed.
"It was ultimately the only reasonable decision available to us," Mr Campbell said.
"We thought long and hard about the impacts but as it was corporately owned, and knowing we were advancing sites like South Tweed, we felt our customers would benefit in the long run with better convenience and flexibility in how they accessed their coffee."
The store - which will employ around 30 staff - sits at the entrance to Tweed City in the location of the former Red Rooster outlet.
But Zarraffa's decision to move south comes off the back of reports made earlier this year that current Tweed City retailers were struggling to pay their increasing rents. Several small business owners told the Tweed Daily News they had no option but to stay in the centre otherwise they risked losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, Tweed City Shopping Centre management defended their business expansion plans.
In a response to the Tweed Daily News, Tweed City regional property manager John Cooper said: "Tweed City has proudly been servicing the region for over 35 years and continues to evolve to meet the needs of our growing community.
"Through the delivery of new stores and exciting experiences, Tweed City remains a leading lifestyle destination.
"Tweed City is pleased to welcome Zarraffa's to our ever-changing retail offering. The recent arrival of Daiso, Beach House, Zarraffa's along with the upgrade of the new look HOYTS, shows how retailers are bringing new retail experiences to the local region for shoppers to enjoy."
Management at The Strand has been contacted for comment.