Clever consumers help Warwick buck national shopping trend
THE Warwick retail industry may bounce back faster than the national average, as Palmerin St stores report a surge in local spending.
The coronavirus-related lockdown of brick and mortar stores in March and April led to a nationwide downturn of over 17 per cent in retail sales, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Clothing shops were particularly hard hit, reporting a 53.6 per cent loss over just one month, sparking widespread concern that shoppers would make the move to online shopping, permanently.
The figures were damning. According to a national brand intelligence tool, online shopping grew 52 per cent above the six month Australian average.
Thankfully for Warwick stores, there is an entire community invested in ensuring their continued success.
Owner of Stephanie’s Lingerie Lyndall McCormack said she was “heartened” by how many customers had walked through her doors, declaring their intention to support local businesses.
“They’re thinking about things they might need, just so they can help me out,” Ms McCormack said.
“They spend locally, buy local products and buy gifts locally because they know we’re doing it tough.”
Ms McCormack said she hadn’t needed to consider building an online store, as she “had enough trouble keeping up” with the business of her Palmerin St shop.
“Our business is fitting, and advice, and that’s not something you can get online,” she said.
“There is definitely demand for us to be here.”
The owner of Rosewool Uggs & Rugs Tony Gilchrist said he, too, noticed a surge in support.
“I get a lot of people coming in from all around,” Mr Gilchrist said.
“Our sales were good after the isolation period, it’s comparable to the same time last year.”