Warrnambool stores continue to open late in lead up to Christmas

By Jess Densley

Retail therapy: Daizy Boutique owner Maree Wills supports the monthly late night shopping initiative which began in Warrnambool in June.

Shoppers made the most of late night shopping on Friday night in Warrnambool, taking their time to browse the shops.

The initiative is in its third month and is gaining momentum as traders look forward to extending their hours in the lead up to Christmas.

Co-organiser and Phinc store owner Tracey Togni said it was great to see some of the multinational businesses, whose hours are set by their city-based management, join in alongside supportive local traders.

Ms Togni said said late night shopping gave couples or families a chance to shop outside traditional opening hours. “It’s the perfect opportunity for people who work a lot,” she said.

“I had a girl come in with her daughter and she said ‘this is great I can actually slow down. I don’t have anything else I have to rush off to. We’ve been looking forward to it all week’. She enjoyed slowing down and having a look around.”

Ms Togni is hopeful that more traders will come on board in the lead up to Christmas. “If more shops opened up, more people would come down but it’s up to the businesses to decide whether they want to support it as a CBD thing.”

Collins Booksellers manager Michaelie Clark said they have held sidewalk sales and in-store events on the three nights the shops had opened later.

“The late night shopping is growing but still has a lot of potential to get back to its glory days which we hope to see now we’ve hit spring and Christmas is on the way,” Ms Clark said. She said the CBD and its traders were “essential to our community” and the store was “doing our bit to bring new energy” into the shopping precinct.

Daizy Boutique owner Maree Wills has also participated in the three events and said she was “all for it” and would do “anything for the CBD” to encourage people to shop in the CBD.

Ms Togni said the next shopping event would be held on the AFL Grand Final public holiday on September 28 from 10am to 2pm and stores would not open late this month. “We’re giving people who have the day off that opportunity to go shopping,” Ms Togni said.

The following month’s late night shopping event on November 30 will coincide with the A Very Liebig Christmas initiative which will include shopping and a range of festive activities.

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