Versace packs its bags and leaves Melbourne after falling behind on the rent -
Ted Baker KSA

Versace packs its bags and leaves Melbourne after falling behind on the rent | Versace at Crown Casino Complex Australia

Versace store at the Crown casino complex in Australia. | The abandoned Versace store in Melbourne's Crown casino complex

The abandoned Versace store in Melbourne’s Crown casino complex.

Crown Casino’s high-rollers are finding it harder to splurge on luxury watches and handbags after marquee brand Versace has shuttered the doors of its only Melbourne boutique.

The legendary Italian fashion house abandoned its prime retailing spot in Crown more than a week ago, emptying the store of goods but leaving behind what could be a sizeable rental bill.

Sources say Crown asked Versace to leave the premises after failing several months behind on its rent. The boutique’s windows have been frosted over in an apparent bid to obscure the vacancy left in the casino’s premium shopping promenade.

Zestland Prime, the local company that holds the rights to sell the Versace line in Australia, did not respond to a request for comment.

A source says business for the boutique has struggled to gain momentum, as the operator has been failing to update its collection, continuing to sell lines that were up to two years old.

It’s not the first time local operator of the Versace label has run into difficulties, with Zestland nearly losing control after failing to renew its distribution license in 2009. The stores were relaunched a few months later.

The closure is unusual for the Crown complex, which includes a spate of high-end brands that cater to wealthy tourists and gamblers.

The Crown boutiques for upmarket brands Louis Vuitton and Bulgari are among their best performing outlets in the Asia Pacific region outside of China, industry sources say.

Versace’s Sydney and Gold Coast outlets were still trading.

Crown did not respond to a request for comment.

The Sydney Morning Herald
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