Retailers look for local boost

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Retailers look for local boost

With just a handful of days left before Christmas, retailers are hoping shoppers will be getting their last minute gifts locally to boost their sales.

Online shopping has hurt the retail sector across the nation, but as Christmas approaches, shoppers are expected to return to retail stores to avoid lengthy postal delays.

Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce president, Ken Dobbs, said that while it was necessary to head to Cairns for some items, local retailers needed the community's support.

"It has not been a good year for most retailers. I was at the markets yesterday (Sunday) and there were not too many people pre-Christmas shopping."

Manager of clothing store, Between The Flags, Michelle Whyte said that the decline of tourist numbers has meant the local market has become even more important.

"Sales have been down on last year. I really believe it is because of the high Australian dollar. Everyone seems to be heading overseas.

"I want to take the opportunity to say thanks to everyone who has supported us because it's the locals who get us through the quiet times," Ms Whyte said.

It is anticipated that Melbourne Business School consultants will investigate the effect of retail rental prices on the health of the retail sector, but Mr Dobbs said that it was not the role of 
the Chamber to communicate with landlords on behalf of their members.

"We haven't done (in the past) and don't intend to negotiate with landlords."

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