Michel's Patisserie in Gympie Central shut its doors last month after being identified as
Michel's Patisserie in Gympie Central shut its doors last month after being identified as "unsustainable”. Josh Preston

What Retail Food Group's mass closures mean for the Coast

DOZENS of Coast stores have escaped closure after Retail Food Group announced hundreds of stores would shut their doors due to rent and performance pressures.

In RFG's ASX half-yearly review, it was revealed 160-200 stores would close by mid-2019, but a company spokeswoman said Coast franchises would be spared the chopping block.

There are currently more than 20 RFG franchise stores on the Sunshine Coast stretching from Noosa Heads to Caloundra, including Pizza Capers, Brumby's, Gloria Jean's and Donut King.

While RFG has previously said it was not forcing the stores to close, the report noted "unsustainable rent and declining shopping centre performance" were to blame.

The company has suffered declining stocks in the face of intense media scrutiny, with stock prices sitting at 88 cents yesterday.

RFG also recently announced through a newsletter to their franchisees that renewal fees would be reduced along with supply prices where possible.

A class-action has been mounted against the company - which it has said it would defend "vigorously" - and a parliamentary inquiry into Australia's franchise sector has been passed in the Senate.

Former owners of the Sunshine Plaza Brumby's, Amanda and Bryan Kelly, were left $800,000 in debt after just running the store for four years between 2009 and 2014 and are one of more than 200 to join support groups for current and former franchisees.

Retail Food Group stores on the Coast:

  • Brumby's - Sippy Downs; Chancellor Park and Mountain Creek.
  • Michel's Patisserie - Nambour and Kawana.
  • Donut King - Nambour; Maroochydore; Kawana; Noosa and Caloundra.
  • Gloria Jeans - Buderim; Mooloolaba; Kawana; Caloundra and Tewantin.
  • Pizza Capers - Noosa Heads; Peregian Springs; Pacific Paradise; Maroochydore; Buderim; Caloundra.
  • Cafe2U - Maroochydore.