City open for festive shopping

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury is open for business when it comes to Christmas shopping thanks to deregulated trading hours in the city.
Camera IconBunbury is open for business when it comes to Christmas shopping thanks to deregulated trading hours in the city. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

Bunbury retailers are being encouraged to take advantage of the city’s deregulated trading hours in the lead up to Christmas.

As metropolitan store owners and shoppers respond to State Government moves to wind back the number of hours retailers can open in the run-up to Christmas, Bunbury’s leaders say the city has one up on its capital city.

The Government has cut additional festive shopping hours from 49 to 34 this year by postponing 7am weekday trading until December 17.

While the State’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the decision needs to be reviewed, Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Mark Seaward says Bunbury is open for business.

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“Bunbury has more flexible trading hours anyway ... it’s not going to impact on shopping,” Mr Seaward said.

“We encourage our retailers to be open as often as they can and as long as they can in the lead up to Christmas to maximise their potential customers walking in.

“The reality is that some of the bigger shopping centres attract people into the CBD and the other shops can benefit from that by being open at the same time.

“We always encourage our retailers in the CBD and other areas to open when it is economically viable for them.”

After supporting the move to bring in deregulated shopping hours more than four years ago, Mayor Gary Brennan said Bunbury could take advantage.

“My message to people in Perth – they won’t travel to Bunbury to do some after-hours shopping – but the fact they know that we do have deregulated trading or shopping hours is another advantage,” Mr Brennan said.

“It’s important that local businesses do take advantage of that by opening up, particularly in this busy period leading up to Christmas.”

He said Sunday trading was discretionary for businesses, but the festive season was a good opportunity to test the waters.

“I think generally during the Christmas holiday period where we do have more visitors to our city, that’s the time when they should really give serious thought to it if they can make it viable for them,” he said.

Bunbury City Council is looking at allocating overflow parking again this year with shopper numbers starting to build in the CBD.

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