City's retail sector in trouble

SAY GOODBYE to businesses in Dubbo and thank you for taking my job.

That's the message of one retail assistant to Dubbo residents who shop online without considering the impacts of their actions on the city.

Jay Jays employee Brad Riches and manager Alyssa Adams praised the Daily Liberal for its Buy Local, Buy a Local a Job campaign as it raised awareness of the importance of local shopping.

Mrs Adams reminded residents retail was a big employer in the city and each time they buy in store they strengthened the local economy keeping people in their jobs.

"When business is thriving, people come and shop in the city," she said.

"If no-one shops here, there'll be no visitors to the city and everything will close down."

The constant battle of online stores versus local businesses was unfair as the two were not on the same level playing field, she said.

Sometimes the price of products was slightly more expensive than online as the store had to pay overheads which included rent, electricity and wages.

One of the many advantages of buying local was personal service.

"People still like to interact with that human instead of a computer," she said.

Both Mrs Adams and retail assistant Brad Riches said they did not shop online because they could not see, feel or touch a product and they wanted to support the city.

"If it doesn't fit, you have to pay, most of the time to return it," Mr Riches said.

"It's a hassle and a waste of time."

Mr Riches said people today were thinking only of what was cheap and did not think outside of the square of the "ripple effect" if they shopped online always.

Even though residents could save a few dollars if they bought online they should remember their neighbour who could lose their retail job as a result.

The tough economic times coupled with "never-ending bills" were pushing people to save the dollar at any cost, Mrs Adams said.

"As a store we're doing our part and trying to get people through our door with good sales and better promotions," she said.

She told the Daily Liberal the Christmas season was an unusually quiet trading period but she was hopeful it would pick up soon.

City shop keepers should bond together to weather the difficult times and market the CBD stores so businesses could receive a much-needed retail boost, she said.

"It can't hurt," Mrs Adams said.

"We need it to bring people back to shop in the streets."

Mr Riches and Mrs Adams encouraged residents to support their local stores and vote with their feet to keep people in their jobs.

Help Dubbo grow otherwise it will be left behind, they said.

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