Warwick's quiet main street still a powerful drawcard
PALMERIN St shop owners might have watched foot traffic steadily decline over the years but there's always the attitude that it could be worse.
In places such as Toowoomba and Townsville, large modern shopping centres have dragged shoppers away from CBDs, and jeweller John Walsh said Palmerin St businesses were lucky Rose City Shoppingworld was built in the centre of town.
"Businesses in the main street can still feed off the traffic that use the centre, things could be a lot worse if it had been built further away,” Mr Walsh said.
"There's no doubt foot traffic declined when the centre was built but I think there are a lot more reasons why people aren't out on the street so much today.
"Financial strains, government decisions affecting everyday Australians, and shopping has changed, we're moving quickly towards a cashless society.”
For Stephanies Lingerie owner Kim Siebenhausen, moving into the centre of town had been a wise move for her.
"The traffic increase has been massive,” she said.
"People have thanked me for moving down here so they don't have to walk so far up to the shop.
"Warwick shoppers like to find a park in front of the shop they need, get in and get out, it's always been the way and now everyone is so busy it's all about convenience.
"If there's the option to get all their shopping done in one place, they'll take it.”
Mrs Siebenhausen said out-of-towners often appreciated Palmerin St more than locals.
"It's a really pretty main street, it doesn't need anything at all,” she said.
"For locals it's all about changing the mindset.
"One really positive move is seeing the cafes with tables and chairs on the footpath, this adds a great vibe to the town.”
Tourists Wendy and Stewart Ellway, from Newcastle, were taking in the sights of Palmerin St yesterday.
"There are a lot of cars, so it's clearly not dead, but I don't see too many people,” Mr Ellway said.
"But there's not many empty shops, so Warwick is doing a lot better than other places.
"It's a beautiful street with its gardens and historic buildings, I'm not sure it needs much else.
"Some great unique shops as well, which is the beauty of a small town.”
Danny Lyons has had his shop at the quiet end of the street for 36 years.
"If had to rely on foot traffic I'd have been gone many years ago,” he said.
"Luckily I'm got specialised products and people come to this end of the street to see me.
"They'll get the park out the front and come straight in.”