Online christmas shopping hits Tableland traders
AN Atherton businessman is calling on the town's retailers to unite and return the magic to Christmas shopping.
David Graham of Far North Office Choice is calling for the town to implement extended Christmas trading hours for the first time.
The Atherton Chamber of Commerce held a forum last week to discuss the issue.
Chamber president Connie Duncan said the festive season was once "a magical time for Atherton retailers".
"It is no secret that the retail industry suffers under the pressures imposed by the increasing popularity of online shopping, the challenges of retaining good staff and providing exceptional service to meet consumer demand in a highly competitive sector," she said.
"Small businesses in rural areas such as the Atherton Tableland come under particular stress, where online shopping offers convenience of 24-hour shopping and home delivery, negating the need to leave your home at all.
"No longer can retailers dhdictate what consumers dhpurchase, but rather consumers decide where they'll spend their cash and how.''
The forum covered extended Christmas trading hours, different marketing avenues and providing incentives to shoppers.
But Mr Graham said agreement on extended hours could not be reached.
"It's got to be all or nothing," he said.
"I am fully supportive of such initiatives but retailers need to unite and get 100 per cent behind these sorts of initiatives in order to gain momentum from them to be successful."
Mr Graham said there would be extended hours at the annual switching on of the Christmas lights on December 6 but the same trading hours would apply at other times.
Ms Duncan said the forum decided upon the "Spirit of Atherton" festive display competition to encourage CBD businesses to dress up their shop windows and discussed a children's scavenger hunt.
"These collaborative initiatives have been developed to create a greater sense of community and in the hope of attracting more local shopping in the region," she said.
"However, all businesses have to work together to really boost the town and it is up to each individual business to create incentives to get people to spend money in their shops."
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Extended trading hours needed: Far North Office Choice boss David Graham is calling on Atherton to implement extended Christmas trading hours for the first time to help stem the flow of shoppers to the internet.