Premier Investments chairman Solomon Lew has issued a warning to landlords: monitor rent expectations or closures will be imminent.

Over the past six years, Premier Retail has opened 307 new profitable Smiggle and Peter Alexander stores, with 192 of these outside of Australia.

However Premier Retail, which also owns Portmans and Dotti, has also closed 103 stores over that time, including 17 during FY18.

The move is part of an ongoing program to close unprofitable stores.

This includes the October 2017 closures of Just Jeans' and Portmans' Melbourne flagship stores in Bourke Street Mall.

The two stores had been trading for over 30 years and combined generated over $5 million in annual sales in FY17.

Premier Retail said it closed these stores as a direct result of unrealistic rent expectations.

Premier chairman Solomon Lew said as consumers continue to increase their shopping online, it will continue to focus on store profitability to drive appropriate investment and shareholder returns.

“During the year, our online division delivered $112 million in sales and contributed 11% of the respective market sales.

"We are committed to continued investment in this channel to accelerate our growth.

"Customers are choosing which channels and locations they want to shop in, and everyone in the Premier Retail team respects and embraces the customers’ choice.

“Landlords need to also embrace and respect the changes in consumer behaviour and the channel choices customers are making.

"As we have consistently said, where landlords do not continue to invest in overall shopping experiences and adjust their rent expectations in line with the performance of their own centres, further store closures may be necessary.”

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