THE owner of the Orange Grove Homemakers Centre has pledged to ensure retailers in the troubled shopping precinct on the Bathurst Road feel safe and secure.
In recent weeks retailers at the site have spoken to the Central Western Daily about antisocial behaviour at the site and the ongoing problem of shoplifters targeting stores.
Sam’s Warehouse manager Leeann Whybrow has been assaulted three times in the past six months, while another store manager says she fears for her safety as aggressive customers refuse to let her search their bags when she suspects them of shoplifting.
A spokesman for centre owner, Sentinel Property Group, which paid $18.3 million to buy the centre in January, said the company was aware of the recent issues at the centre.
The spokesperson said the owner “is committed to ensuring the highest possible standards of safety and security at all times for tenants and customers”.
He said Sentinel was a proactive and highly experienced retail property manager with a growing portfolio of centres throughout NSW, Queensland and Victoria. He said Sentinel had “a successful track record of implementing standardised systems for safety and security across all its properties”.
“We continue to invest heavily in our Orange [Grove] Homemaker Centre to see the property reach its full potential for the benefit of tenants, customers and the local community, and this includes our proven systems across all aspects of the property’s operations,” he said.
Sentinel managing director Warren Ebert told the CWD in March that he planned to revamp the site with a string of national retailers to open there before the end of the year.
At the time he said he was negotiating with “lots of national tenants to fill new and existing space” at the site.
The Sentinel spokesperson was unable to confirm that negotiations were under way for Spotlight to move into the centre.