Retailer’s Christmas ‘not as good as it’s been’
WHEN it came to delivering this year’s Christmas spend to Gympie retailers it seems Santa left many with a mixed bag.
This was the prevailing opinion of retailers, including Tony Goodman.
“It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t as good as it has been, “ the Gympie Chamber of Commerce president and owner of Mary St business Bella Casa said.
The region’s Christmas lead-up was in line with the slow start Australia-wide.
“It was a little concerning,” he said.
This changed after the second Christmas on Mary event on December 18.
“From that night onwards it started to go exponentially,” he said.
It was an opinion echoed by fellow Mary St trader Lorraine Broadley.
The owner of Toyworld and Twiga Books said the slow start was countered by a last-minute Christmas surge.
“There was a bit of a mad rush in the last week,” Mrs Broadley said.
“It was tough.
“We’ve definitely had better years.”
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One big help this year though was a clear push from customers to shop close to home.
“We got that comment a lot more than usual,” she said.
“A lot of people wanted to keep their money local this year.”
But Gympie Camping and Outdoor owner Amy Sparreboom said this year’s Christmas retail spend had a specific target.
“We have found a lot of people are buying second-hand,” Mrs Sparreboom said.
“They aren’t buying new.”
This contributed to a Christmas season “significantly down on last year – which was down on the year before”.
Mrs Sparreboom said she was grateful for those shoppers dedicated to supporting Gympie shops through the period.
Angus & Coote manager Helen Hall said this year’s slow Christmas lead-up exploded into the “best Boxing Day we’ve ever had”.
“I think people are realising how busy Maroochydore is,” Mrs Hall said.
“I think this year customers were shopping home for Boxing Day.”
One key difference for this Christmas compared to last was customers did not have “hail damage money” to spend.
“There was a lot (last year),” she said.