$10 billion boost: Why you must Christmas shop in Gympie
GYMPIE retailers have urged shoppers to support local businesses in a predicted "bumper Christmas trade period” this year after the National Retail Association predicted statewide spending to reach a whopping $9.6 billion this festive season.
This year's NRA prediction is some $0.36 billion up from last year's, while a Deloitte survey tipped online sales to surge with "four out of five retailers anticipating a stronger Christmas trading period” than they did in 2017.
Tony Goodman of Bella Casa said he was expecting the "busiest” part of his year.
"The Christmas period gets extremely busy. We can expect at least double the trading we would normally do throughout the year,” Mr Goodman said.
"We always hope that it's busy and we get through a good trade to make up for the more quiet times of the year.
"Online shopping is a challenge for all of us, but we try to create an ambience for our customers that you can't get online. We always change the shop to create an experience for the shoppers.”
Unearthed Streetwear manager Tracey Clarke said the store had just enjoyed busier traffic for Gympie's formal season, but wouldn't not see much Christmas kickback until "the middle of December”.
"I hope (we will be busy) but with all those new shops that have just opened on big franchises down the coast, people aren't supporting the locals,” Ms Clarke said.
"We get people coming up here from Noosa and Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast because we've got different products to what they can get down there.
"We often get people ... who are surprised at our prices, but they've already bought it online because they think it's going to be cheaper.
"People need to realise we're not a franchisee, we're a small business.
"People need to support local business because that will keep the money here.
"People don't realise what they've got here. They should just take a walk down the street and see what all the stores have got.”
Gympie Toyworld and Twiga Books owner Lorraine Broadley echoed the importance of buying local, saying it would help create summer casual jobs and retain Gympie's "individuality”.
"10 years ago I'd hire 12 people at Christmas time but I only have a fraction of that now,” Mrs Broadley said.
"People can't have it both ways; if they want their kids to get jobs locally they have to support local businesses.
"Shoppers want to go to the Coast for the curiosity value, but we've got a wide range of goods at great prices.
"We tailor our product specifically to the clientele we know well ... you're getting it straight from the horse's mouth here, how often do you see that in bigger markets?”
"We're hoping for a big Christmas season, we have a lot of stock and we're hoping to move it all.”