Retailers need spending spree

Eden owner Sally Harvey with Maddi Crane and Kara Murray yesterday. Picture: TARA GOONAN
Eden owner Sally Harvey with Maddi Crane and Kara Murray yesterday. Picture: TARA GOONAN

BORDER retailers hope their wish for a final shopper frenzy will come true before Santa arrives in three sleeps.

While some shops, such as supermarkets, are flying, it has been a slow start for other stores this Christmas period.

In Albury’s central business district November and December trading started slowly, a bleak contrast to past years.

But Albury Central co-ordinator Nardia Copeland said spending had started to pick up and she expected a final flourish.

“There are two different sides to the story,” Ms Copeland said.

“Spending is certainly down, especially the last two months but that’s on par with national trends.

“A lot of people attribute that to online shopping.

“A lot of traders have found that from the second week of December things have picked up.”

That has been the case for new Dean Street business Eden.

The florist — which doubles as a mental health service for young people — opened between Super Cheap Auto and Get Tossed salad bar early this month.

Owner Sally Harvey said while the counselling side of the business had been flying, the florist needed a lift.

“It has been a bit slow but not many people know we are here,” Mrs Harvey said.

“Hopefully it picks up before Christmas and in the new year.”

In Wodonga, some retailers have been waiting for customers to walk into their stores.

Paul Wilson, owner of High Street business Sport First, said this Christmas was similar to last year.

“The feeling is that everyone is spending their money across the creek,” Mr Wilson said.

“We certainly haven’t had the bumper season we though we might have.

“I’d have to say I’m a bit disappointed ... although last year things picked up in January, February and March.”

Centro Wodonga centre manager Cherie Daly said while she did not have access to figures, feedback from Centro traders had been good.

“Across the board, especially for Target and supermarkets, it’s been very busy,” Mrs Daly said.

“It’s good we have the weekend of trading in the lead-up to Christmas — I think (today) especially will be crazy.”