Echuca-Moama Business and Trades Association president Andrew Lochhead is encouraging people to shop in town, not online.By Ruth Clayton
Internet shopping is to blame for a slower than usual retail trade, at a time of the year when trade traditionally picks up for Christmas.
Echuca-Moama Business and Trades Association president Andrew Lochhead said many retailers were getting numbers through their stores, but people did not seem to be spending.
Instead, people were using bricks and mortar stores to try out products and then buy them online, often for a cheaper price, he said.
Mr Lochhead said people had been ‘‘more frugal’’ over the past few years, due to financial uncertainty for many.
‘‘More and more people are taking up the internet up as a way of saving money,’’ Mr Lochhead said.
He said it was impossible for a district business to compete with an internet business, because a local businesses had higher overheads.
‘‘It’s a lot cheaper for someone to run a business out of a shed,’’ Mr Lochhead said.
He said online shopping was detrimental not only to retailers, but to the whole community.
‘‘People need to realise if people keep following this trend, there’s not going to be the jobs available in Echuca and Moama for themselves or their children,’’ Mr Lochhead said.
He encouraged people to shop locally because he said businesses who made money in town also spent money in town.
‘‘It might help you (to shop locally) down the track because your employer or business gets the money back,’’ Mr Lochhead said.
He also said people did not get the same customer service online as they would if they shopped locally.
‘‘The service of getting something repaired or replaced is so much easier when you can walk into a shop,’’ Mr Lochhead said.
He hoped business would pick up closer to Christmas.
‘‘We’ve got everything in this town if you need to shop
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