During the recent school strike for climate, Patagonia shut stores globally and initiated a prominent media campaign supporting the protest, prompting Jones to call its stance a “disgrace”.
General manager of Patagonia Australia Dane O’Shannasy said the business didn’t have an “aggressive retail strategy” globally.
“I would have a view [we will open] in between 10 and 20 [Australian] stores over the next decade, that would be a pretty good estimation,” Mr O’Shannasy said.
“We want our stores to serve the communities that they’re in. They’re not just places to buy stuff, we want to be able to be a bit of a hub for community activism and environmental issues,” he said.
“We’re looking to Melbourne’s rich history around activism, street art and culture as a way to inform the design of this store, and restoring a beautiful old heritage building as well.”
Leasing rates in Little Collins Street have fallen from recent highs of $3500 per square metre to about $2000 in today’s market.
The shop was previously occupied by collapsed fashion retailer David Lawrence before it was taken over by The Book Grocer on a short-term lease. The new deal was negotiated by Cushman & Wakefield’s Michael Di Carlo and Ian Robertson from CRS Property.