Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Brett Kitching
Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Brett Kitching

Easter marks major highlight of activity in trading

THE Easter weekend, which was the quarter mark of 2013 is also one of the times of the year that retailers are brought strongly into the spotlight.

The retail sector has had some difficulties in recent years as competition from online and offshore sellers has grown dramatically placing great pressure on traditional retailers.

Perhaps the best indication of where retail sits currently is in the mid-year report last week from David Jones. The first six months of the 2013 financial year resulted in lower sales and a 13.5% reduction in net profit for the retail giant. However, a dramatic increase in online sales for DJs in this period, and achieving lower International prices to better compete with online and offshore retailers are the important steps that have been taken recently to improve future profitability.

Despite online competition, Australian retail sales have grown in 2013 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The growth rate of 2 to 3%, however, is much less than the average retail growth rate of 6% in the 30 years from 1983 to 2013.

Easter continues as one of the times of the year that retailers come alive, especially in Ipswich in recent years. It was at the Easter weekend five years ago when Riverlink Shopping Centre began trading. While there were some negative influences on different pockets of Ipswich retail as a result of this commenced trade, there can be no doubt about the overall benefit to Ipswich of the Riverlink centre.

For many the long-held tradition of travelling to Brisbane for shopping trips came to an end and the initial weekend of sales on the Riverlink opening was something once unheard of in Ipswich

This is another indication of the growth and development of the City of Ipswich in recent times. While Australian retail has struggled to a degree over the past four years, Ipswich retail overall has strengthened, and the Easter weekend just passed will certainly have helped this trend to continue.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Chamber Networking AFTER 5 - Thursday, April 18, at the Ipswich Turf Club starting at 5pm, until 6.30pm. Free for members, non-members may attend one Networking AFTER 5 event for free to experience one of the many benefits of being a Chamber of Commerce member. RSVP by Tuesday, April 16.

Bookings are essential for all events. Inquiries phone 3282 8688 or send an email to admin@ipswichchamber.org.au.


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