A rug warehouse supposed to have shut its doors in April after holding continuous closing down sales for a decade is still trading but the owner says its days really are numbered now.
Empress Rugs at Rozelle, in Sydney’s inner-west, will supposedly be gone by September and is going out in the only way its owner knows how: by conducting a ‘demolition sale’.
That will come as no surprise to passing motorists as Empress Rugs has been carrying shopfront signage since at least as far back as 2008 stating it will be closing soon.
The business has for years lurched from ‘end of lease’ to ‘$1,000,000 sellout’ sales, regularly promising ‘everything must go’, while trading on.
Empress Rug Warehouse at Rozelle has been closing down for the past decade. It’s still open
This time it probably is closing… Empress Rugs is set to be demolished for a new motorway
Goodbye Rozelle: Another ‘massive sale’ at Empress Rug Warehouse is announced in July 2017
The shop’s first and last tenant, Frank Nasre, told Daily Mail Australia last December the NSW Roads and Maritime Service was compulsorily acquiring the land to build the WestConnex motorway.
He said he had been told to be out of the Victoria Road landmark within four months.
‘They’ve given us until April 30th,’ Mr Nasre said. ‘But they might give us one more month after that.’
In fact, the RMS has given Mr Nasre five more months.
‘I have been served with the document that I have to leave by the 28th of September or anything left in the shop will be removed,’ Mr Nasre said.
‘And there is no more extension whatsoever. They are going to demolish the place.
‘I have no choice. This is the last stop. I will guarantee that.’
Back in December Mr Nasre explained some of the mysteries of rug selling in Australia. Rule one seems to be that to make any money a shop owner has to say the business is closing down.
‘$1,000,000 sellout’: Empress Rug Warehouse at Rozelle as it appeared in December 2009
Everything must go: An end of lease sale is advertised at Empress Rug Warehouse in July 2013
Empress Rugs, also known as Rozelle Rugs, is now conducting one last ‘demolition sale’
Empress Rugs, also known as Rozelle Rugs, first advertised a clearance sale in 2006, about two years after it opened, and has been adding closing down signage ever since.
Mr Nasre started his first business in Melbourne in 1997, set up shop in Victoria Road about 2004 and moved back to the Victorian capital in 2008.
The store’s first ‘closing down’ sale was in 2008 and that sale lasted a year.
‘It costs $10,000 to bring the signage down,’ Mr Nasre said. ‘I thought “we’ll leave it there”.’
After Mr Nasre moved back to Melbourne the business was run by another lease-holder for three years, then a cousin of Mr Nasre’s after that.
Mr Nasre took over again in June last year.
‘It has had three different entities within the last 10 years,’ he said.
And times have been tough throughout that decade as trends and tastes changed while stock remained unsold.
Empress Rugs Warehouse in Victoria Road, Rozelle, is probably closing down, permanently
Going, going: ‘Closing sale’ – Rozelle’s Empress Rug Warehouse signage from December 2016
‘The cost of keeping the business running will bankrupt you,’ Mr Nasre said.
In 2009 there was a ‘$1,000,000 clearance’, followed by an ‘End of lease: Everything must go’ sale in 2013. Late last year the store began holding a ‘Demolition sale’, which is ongoing.
Mr Nasre said he would have preferred to promote and expand the business but the challenging Australian market meant it made more sense to advertise its difficulties.
‘You get your money when you close down,’ Mr Nasre said of selling rugs.
‘The moment it closes down people will buy from you. It has to close down because that’s when people buy.’
Mr Nasre said on Friday that anyone wanting a cheap rug should move quickly as the September deadline for eviction drew closer.
‘Anyone wants anything they should come in and shop now, otherwise that’s it,’ he said.
‘I’m sad to see it go but it has to go.’
This time they mean it: Empress Rug Warehouse in Rozelle will close for business soonish
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