Warrnambool business offered for free to a new owner if someone will take over lease

ON OFFER: Country Attitude owner Peter Gandolfi is offering his business for free to a new owner who is willing to take over the lease and purchase the stock, which is valued at about $80,000. Picture: Christine Ansorge
ON OFFER: Country Attitude owner Peter Gandolfi is offering his business for free to a new owner who is willing to take over the lease and purchase the stock, which is valued at about $80,000. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Country Attitude owner Peter Gandolfi is offering his business for free to a new owner if someone will take over the lease of the shop.

Mr Gandolfi blames the central business district renewal project happening in Liebig Street and says it has become unviable to continue his business.

He said the store’s current stock would have to be purchased as part of the lease transfer.

“As a result of the main street redevelopment it’s had a massive hit on our sales which we believe is unsustainable,” Mr Gandolfi said.

“For anyone who will take over the lease of the shop we will give them our business. 

“They will have to buy the stock.”

He said the stock at the Liebig Street store, next to Kodak Express Owens Camera Centre, was valued at about $80,000. 

The Millicent-based man said his family business owned three Country Attitude stores, with the other two in Mount Gambier and Millicent.

The Warrnambool store opened 10 years ago.

“It has been a very successful venture,” Mr Gandolfi said. “But what we have witnessed in the past 12 months is a massive decline in sales to the extent it’s no longer viable as a small family business to operate a store in Warrnambool.

“The construction has had a major impact on business.”

Mr Gandolfi said he wouldn’t consider waiting until after the works were completed.

“We don’t have the capacity to ride out two or more years of losses,” he said.

“We need to ensure our staff are looked after and their entitlements are paid out. We need to take affirmative action before it’s too late.” 

He said the landlords were forcing the business to see out the lease.

“We could just close the store and keep paying the rent, but we think this is the most positive way to deal with it,” Mr Gandolfi said.

He said the Mount Gambier store had been outperforming Warrnambool by 30 per cent.