A major mall in the heart of Australia’s cash-only shopping city of Raiffa has been hit with a court injunction to stop it from selling clothes and other goods, including cosmetics.
The city’s chief executive, Michael Hatton, said the move by the High Court of Australia to prevent the retail giant, Lululemon, from entering the city limits was “a matter of public policy” and could mean millions of dollars in economic losses for the state.
He said the decision was a victory for Raiffahans right to be able to shop wherever they wanted and said the city had been trying to attract Lulules customers for decades.
“It’s not just about money.
It’s about the way that Raiffahs culture has developed over time, and Luluets culture is one of the very best in the world,” Mr Hatton said.
“If we can’t get Lululiouns into the city, we’re going to have to move, and that’s what’s happening.”
Mr Hatton told ABC Radio in Brisbane that the city’s “favourite shopping destination” was in fact in the centre of Raifah, a small city of about 10,000 people on the Gold Coast, with its famous harbour, ocean views and beaches.
“I would say the majority of our population are Raiffas, but I’m not sure if we can get them to go there,” he said.
Mr Hinton said the council would try to negotiate a deal with Lululun to ensure that it could continue to sell Lululaouns products.
“We are still open to any sort of deal,” he told ABC radio.
“We’re not in a rush.
We’re not trying to force anything.”
He said he expected the court decision to be appealed.
“Our position has not changed,” he added.
“The issue has been that we don’t want Lululooun to do business in the city.
We just want to keep the shop open.”
Lululemons lawyers told the High Crimes Court in Melbourne that the company could not be in the CBD because it had a separate premises in Brisbane, where it operates two shopping centres, a health centre and other businesses.
“Lululoun is not a licensed retailer in Queensland, so it has to apply for a license in New South Wales, and we are seeking to do that,” Mr Haight said.
“There are a lot of businesses that have been doing business here for decades, and it is an open, vibrant business community.”
The High Court ordered the company to stop selling its products in Raiffais CBD, which is in the middle of a major shopping centre and is the gateway to the city and its suburbs.
The court ordered the store to close on March 22 and said it would issue a licence to Lululuouns in the future.
It ordered Luluzouns to cease operating in the Raiffan area and said that if it failed to comply with the order, it could be fined $15,000.
The decision was welcomed by Raiffaa Mayor Joe McAlpine, who said he was glad the court had ruled in favour of Raifeans right not to be forced to sell in Raifahs CBD.
“In a city of 10,500 people, Raiffains economy is growing by about 60 per cent a year, and if it can’t continue to thrive then it’s going to be a real loss for Raifa,” Mr McAlpin said.
Raifeans resident and Raiffain resident Adam Hargrave said he had been hoping for a change for some time.””
Raiffah was created as a shopping centre, and in this case it’s created by Lululumouns.”
Raifeans resident and Raiffain resident Adam Hargrave said he had been hoping for a change for some time.
“Raifea is a very unique community.
There’s a lot to do, but there’s so much going on around the city,” he explained.”
For years I’ve been working at a food business, and I’m so happy I can’t work anywhere else in Australia, because it’s like I’ve got a new lease on life.”
He was not surprised by the court’s decision.
“A lot of the things I’d be doing here are just too difficult,” he commented.
The case is the latest in a long line of attempts to stop Lulularun from opening in the country’s largest city.
Raifean Mayor Joe McKelvey said the ruling was not the end of the story.
“If they can get the licence then they can open the shops and the cafes, but if they can’t do that, then we’ll be left in the dust,” he warned.
More to come.