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Retail trade kept busy in the lower river

Lynne Mowbray |

Many of the retail outlets in the lower river have reported an extremely busy holiday trading period with several reporting an increase in sales, on last year.

The weather this year has been perfect and a lot kinder than the wild storms which ravaged both Yamba and Maclean, at the start of January last year.

Some businesses have attributed the increase in sales, to the number of road workers who have been living in the area this year and have brought their families here for the holiday season.

The Independent spoke with some of the businesses in Yamba and Maclean, regarding how they saw the Christmas/New Year period:

Clovelly Fashions – (Maclean)

It’s refreshing to see the repeat business that we get from the holiday makers who know our store and come to visit us when they’re on holidays.

A lot of people from out west have holiday places at Yamba and know our shop (here in Maclean).

We get very positive feedback about our unique country town and how pretty it is and the service they get. They love to visit the coffee shops and browse in the boutiques, when they visit Maclean to get away from the beach for the day.

Now that the (Maclean) Showground has opened up to RV motor home people, we get a lot of the grey nomads; they stay a couple of nights, they use the hotels and clubs for entertainment and a meal and browse in our shops. That is a very big thing for Maclean.

Ta ‘Chele Australis (Maclean)/Gallagher and Co. (Yamba)

Business has been great, with a lot of people in town looking about.

We can’t really compare sales with last year as we were busy cleaning up after the storm. (Ta ‘Chele Australis in Maclean was one of the businesses which was severely damaged in last year’s storm).

Kanes Sport & Leisure – (Yamba and Maclean)

Our sales are on a par with last year.

Online shopping does hurt local retailers and impacts on sales. We sell all of our stock at the recommended retail pricing.

People aren’t aware of the fact that when they buy online that they’re also paying freight and it (what they’ve purchased) might not be the right thing for them.

We are actually here to help out, if there are any issues with what they’ve purchased.

It hurts local businesses a lot; if people are buying on line or they’re going to the Gold Coast to shop.

People really need to support local businesses, to keep them here.

TotaLook Clothing (Yamba)

Business has been really good. We’ve had a lot of day trippers and there were a lot of new people in town – I think the (influx of) road workers have helped.

Soul Pattinson Chemist (Yamba)

We’ve had a really good time here, with sales up on last year. It’s been great for the businesses.

The Fair Butchers (Yamba and Maclean)

Both shops have been really busy. Business has been very, very good.

Yamba Fudge – Confectionery

Business has been flat out – very busy.

Coffee shop owners contacted in both Maclean and Yamba have reported an extremely busy time during the Christmas/New Year period.