Sun­day shop­pers split over hours

Geraldton Guardian - - NEWS - Tamra Carr

Sun­day shop­pers have given dereg­u­lated trad­ing a mixed re­view, with some ar­gu­ing it’s great for con­ve­nience and oth­ers say­ing it’s bad for busi­ness.

The Ger­ald­ton Guardian vis­ited North­gate Shop­ping Cen­tre on Sun­day to can­vas some pub­lic opin­ion and found Coles — though far from burst­ing at the seams — was pep­pered with con­sumers at about 3pm.

One worker at a nearby empty mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment store gave Sun­day trad­ing a thumbs down, say­ing not enough peo­ple fre­quented the store to make be­ing open worth­while. “It’s too in­con­sis­tent,” she said. “It’ll be worth it about a quar­ter of the time and the rest of the time it won’t be, es­pe­cially by the time we pay the wages.

“I don’t re­ally shop on Sun­days or at night dur­ing the week, even on Thurs­days.

“I’d be happy for it to be over.” An­other re­tail staffer at a North­gate video game shop said he en­joyed shop­ping on Sun­days and on week­nights be­cause it was con­ve­nient.

When pressed why he wouldn’t shop at a lo­cal IGA — a few of which have al­ways been open on Sun­days and un­til 9pm on week­nights — he said he be­lieved shop­ping there made for a big­ger gro­cery bill. “They’re too ex­pen­sive,” he said.

“But it’s also about go­ing wher­ever is closer.”

Coles cus­tomers also flagged dis­tance as a fac­tor in where they chose to shop, with one man say­ing he used to be a loyal Rigters IGA cus­tomer un­til he moved to Wan­d­ina, mak­ing Wool­worths Seacrest the more con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion.

One cus­tomer said he had been shop­ping al­most ev­ery Sun­day since the law was re­laxed last Oc­to­ber, though he nor­mally shopped at Glen­field IGA be­cause it was closer to home.

A staff mem­ber at a North­gate cafe said she dis­liked dereg­u­la­tion

be­cause she had to work most Sun­days and she rarely shopped on Sun­days or week­nights.

A man who used to work in trad­ing said he be­lieved dereg­u­la­tion

was not re­quired in Ger­ald­ton.

Email your thoughts to ed­i­tor@ ger­ald­ton­news­pa­pers.com.au.

Re­gard­ing the City of Greater Ger­ald­ton coun­cil vote to con­tinue ex­tended trad­ing.

Like most lo­cal re­tail­ers, I was dis­ap­pointed in our City.

They treated our lo­cal re­tail bod­ies, in­clud­ing the cham­ber of com­merce, with com­plete dis­re­spect for not tabling their sub­mis­sion and at least show­ing coun­cil­lors that all the re­tail­ers were ask­ing for was fine-tun­ing the hours so they were in tune with what is ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing.

Per­haps the cham­ber might have shown more ticker in fight­ing for the lo­cals.

I get that a lot of coun­cil­lors think it is a sil­ver bul­let — more open­ing hours, more busi­ness, more vi­tal­ity.

All I ask of them is to hire a bus any day at 7.30pm (ex­cept Thurs­day) and to check the foot traf­fic in the CBD and all other re­tail ar­eas.

They should also take note of the shops that are open. What has hap­pened? Shops have closed, or are on the verge of clos­ing.

Items that we could al­ways pur­chase are no longer avail­able lo­cally — even the mayor ad­mit­ted he could no longer buy suits in our CBD.

Jobs, as the eco­nomic sur­vey the City com­mis­sioned shows, have been lost.

I know there are many rea­sons — pop­u­la­tion de­crease and tough eco­nomic con­di­tions, for ex­am­ple.

But even with a new shop­ping cen­tre that did shift jobs to that area, there was a net loss of many full-time and ca­sual jobs.

And that was only at the shops sur­veyed.

What about the jobs lost at the shops that have closed, or which were not part of the sur­vey?

Thank­fully, the coun­cil­lors of the City of Kal­go­or­lieBoul­der saw it dif­fer­ently.

There was a mo­tion to change the shop­ping hours to 24/7, again with the prom­ise of a sil­ver bul­let for the vi­tal­ity and eco­nom­ics of their city.

Luck­ily, the lo­cal re­tail­ers fought hard for their vi­a­bil­ity.

They did not get ev­ery­thing they wanted, but most will be happy with the out­come.

I strongly be­lieve one size does not fit all.

Al­bany is quite happy with the hours it has set, as I hope Kal­go­or­lie is now.

I hope our City coun­cil­lors take note of how lo­cal re­tail­ers are far­ing in 12 months time.

We are all hop­ing for a re­cov­ery in the city’s for­tunes, but on present trends I fear more jobs will dis­ap­pear in re­tail in the next 12 months.

I hope I am wrong.

John Rigter

Direc­tor

Rigters Su­per­mar­ket Group

The Ger­ald­ton Guardian asked for a few opin­ions from Sun­day shop­pers at North­gate Shop­ping Cen­tre. Pic­ture: Tamra Carr

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