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Subiaco hit as another retailer quits
Greg and Melissa Guest with their son Toby at their business, Guest Fine Art Services. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

The exodus out of former retail hotspot Subiaco looks set to continue, with Guest Fine Art Services, a framing and art restoration business that resided on Hay Street for 25 years, the latest independent business to move out of the area.

The family-owned company, which provides picture framing, gilding and restoration services, will move to premises on Hector Street in Osborne Park in January.

"We have a wonderful shop here in Subiaco but the move has really come to a head because the parking in Subiaco has become a nightmare," proprietor and framing specialist Gregory Guest said.

"Everybody that is coming to us is either bringing in a painting or collecting one and we've lost count of the times customers have called to say they couldn't find anywhere to park and gave up."

Mr Guest, who runs the business with his paintings conservator wife Melissa and son Toby, said he had noticed a strong retail downturn in Subiaco over the past two years.

"Subiaco is really suffering," Mr Guest said. "There are days when nobody comes into the shop. When we first opened there was so much activity that we were always picking up new customers. But that has all but died because all the interesting shops have gone from the area."

Mr Guest attributed the downturn of potential shoppers to an influx of office buildings, generic mainstream retailers and the increasing popularity of other urban villages such as Leederville and Mt Hawthorn.

"Subiaco has become almost an extension of West Perth in terms of office space," he said.

"These are extra workers in the area, not shoppers, and they all need to park somewhere.

"They're not coming back into Subiaco at the weekends to shop because they work here all week."

Mr Guest said his long-term clients had been overwhelmingly positive about the impending move to Osborne Park.

"Almost without exception, everyone has said how much they are looking forward to parking at the door," he said. "That is virtually impossible in Subiaco."