Why people are flocking to Warwick for Christmas shopping
SMALL BUSINESSES are still big competitors, despite the prevalence of online shopping, according to local business owners and customers.
Lynn Bryson has been in the gift and flower industry for more than 35 years, and said that buyers come to Warwick for something different.
"People even come in from out of town because they are sick of going to big shopping centres and seeing the same things over and over again,” Ms Bryson said.
"We just had a group of women come in from Toowoomba, because they want to find something different.”
Ms Bryson said that local businesses offer more personal service, exquisite gift wrapping and unique products that you won't find anywhere else.
But it's not just the out-of-towners that love the local touch.
Ms Bryson said that a lot of Warwick customers make the effort to support small businesses in town.
It's a sentiment that rings true for Warwick resident Elia Faa, who said she tries to shop locally as much as she can.
"If you can't buy it in Warwick you don't need it,” Ms Faa said.
"We try to do as much of the shopping locally to support the local businesses and take some stress out of it, not having to travel as much.”
Even the younger ones like to keep business in town.
"It's more convenient to shop here and we can get everything we need,” said Lana Hills.
Authenticity is another key factor when shopping, and Annie Bradford said she likes to go into the store to actually see what she's buying.
But some businesses have felt the effects of the internet.
Gift shop owner Sue Pulley has noticed an increase in online sales but fewer walk-ins over the years.
"There's more competition with online sales these days... you find you get a rush closer to Christmas when people have missed the mark for postage, but the business isn't as constant” Ms Pulley said.
She put it down to convenience, saying that online shopping allows people to buy gifts at any time of the day.
"But you still have your regular customers that support you,” she said.