Booval Fair shopping centre is enjoying a busy time with strong crowds, defying retail trends elsewhere. Photo: David Nielsen
Booval Fair shopping centre is enjoying a busy time with strong crowds, defying retail trends elsewhere. Photo: David Nielsen

Shoppers help boost economy

IT’S boom time at Booval Fair with cashed-up shoppers flocking to the busy precinct, defying national retail trends which indicate consumer spending is at its worst in 20 years.

Booval Fair experienced an 8% rise in trade for the month of April compared to the same period last year, despite fewer trading days in the month.

Booval Fair marketing manager Ricki Hudson said food and fashion were the big winners.

“What we have noticed is an increase in spend at the centre,” Mr Hudson said. “Traffic has remained fairly constant.

“Since the floods some supermarkets have remained closed meaning there was less competition.

“Also locals are starting to receive insurance payments from the floods and replacing items.”

Mr Hudson said the proximity of Easter, school holidays and Mother’s Day was also beneficial to retail over the period.

Booval Harvest Markets manager Kaylene Sweet said business was so good she had recently recruited four new staff members.

“You couldn’t say there’s no money around because people are still buying,” Mrs Sweet said.

“We’ve seen lots of new faces.

“For this time of year it’s a lot busier and we’ve been pretty constant and steady.

“There’s no shortage of fresh produce and despite bananas the prices of everything else is reasonable.”

In its latest Retail Forecasts report, Deloitte Access Economics expects real retail sales to have grown just 1.3% in the current financial year, the worst result in 20 years.

Deloitte Access Economics partner David Rumbens said retail sales were weak at present, but it was not all necessarily bad news looking forward.

“Australia is in the midst of an unprecedented resources boom and there will be a range of dividends from that – jobs, wage growth, profits and government revenues,” he said.

On May 21 the QT reported Riverlink had defied all economic trends and posted an extraordinary 14% annual growth in sales for April.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the result was a sign the city was bouncing back with greater vigour after the January floods.



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