Rise of online retail forces Alex Perry to close flagship store

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Alex Perry’s flagship shopfront in the iconic Strand Arcade in the Sydney CBD will shut its doors in March after being in business for over a decade.

It is a decision the fashion designer didn’t take lightly but was forced to take as his business takes off online and internationally with celebrity clients including Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Saoirse Ronan, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rihanna.

“Online sales are almost four times what the bricks and mortar is making,” Perry told The Daily Telegraph. “Why would I renew that lease for another three, four, five years when it is far more economical and we make a lot more money online that what we do with all the expenses you incur when you have bricks and mortar.”

For Perry and other retailers in the CBD, construction of the light rail also made a massive impact to financials.

“It changed the flow of people in that part of the city,” Perry said. “At the same time, as my business grew the way it is growing now, people are buying differently. Our online store started to increase in sales exponentially.”

His brand is still sold in 10 outlets across Australia, including up-market store, Harrolds. Alex Perry is stocked in a further 100 outlets across 30 countries internationally, including Nieman Marcus and Selfridges, as well as online sites like Net-A-Porter.

“Business-wise if it is making more sales online and the costs are significantly less, then you can do other stuff with that money,” Perry said.

“I never thought I had that sort of product that people would buy online. I thought they’d have to go in, see it and try it on and a lot of people still do that. I would have thought people would buy jeans, T-shirts, simpler products online but that has all changed.”

Alex Perry was born Alexandros Pertsinidis and grew up in a migrant, working-class family in Sydney. His father is a Greek immigrant and his mother was born in Australia of Greek immigrant parents, though he Anglicised his name to Alex Perry.

Sourced by: Daily Telegraph

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