Two years after its arrival in Shepparton, Annie Mayfield will close its doors for the final time on Christmas Eve.By Ashleigh Williamson
The mathematics made for a simple decision for Annie Mayfield owner Susie Waters.
Mrs Waters has decided to close her Shepparton classic fashion shop to concentrate on the successful Wangaratta shop she has had for 18 years.
The Wyndham St shop will close on Christmas Eve after opening in March last year.
‘‘We would do probably four times the figures (at the Wangaratta store) daily because there is more foot traffic,’’ Mrs Waters said.
‘‘The time and effort we were putting in (at Shepparton) was not worth the reward.
‘‘We’re consolidating in Wangaratta and we think our really loyal customers will travel there.’’
Mrs Waters said her other three Shepparton staff members would have the chance to work at Wangaratta.
She said the Shepparton economy had declined since a busy first year in the town.
She said supporting small businesses in country towns was important.
‘‘I thought (Shepparton) really had an opening for a store like ours,’’ she said.
‘‘I feel really sad for the loyal customers and rural customers who have really supported us.’’
Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Jamie Cox said business owners continued to raise concerns about parking, rates and rent.
Mr Cox was this month one of six people appointed to a Greater Shepparton City Council community panel to review rating strategies.
He said the panel would represent business owners’ concerns, but they also needed to understand online shopping has changed the retail industry.
‘‘It’s no longer a case of people walk down the street and think, ‘Gee, there’s a shop, I’ll walk into that, that’s what I want’,’’ he said.
‘‘They are doing a lot of research before they even walk out their door.
‘‘I think it’s important local businesses have an online presence.’’
Mr Cox said small businesses could remain successful with quality customer service and product ranges to compliment an online presence.
Annie Mayfield is named after Mrs Waters’ daughter, Annie Mayfield Waters, who helps her mother at Shepparton and Wangaratta.
The shops sell a range of casual or smart women’s fashion, accessories and homeware.
National retailers WOW Audio Visual, Everyday Living, TGW Pty Ltd (trading as GAME ) and Retravision have all closed Shepparton stores this year.
In July, Toy World in Shepparton’s Maude St Mall announced it would close its doors and more recently fashion shop Traffik has moved from the mall to Fryers St.
Watters Electrical was liquidated after the Hastie Group collapsed in May, before former owner Robin Knaggs bought back the company that started in Shepparton and he developed nationally.
Banksia Securities, a key subsidiary of the non-bank lender Banksia Financial Group, went into receivership last month owing $660
Banksia branches in Shepparton, Kyabram, Tatura and Echuca closed aat a loss of 47 jobs.
A group of business owners started campaigning for reduced commercial rates in June.
Six people were last week appointed to a Greater Shepparton City Council community panel to review rating strategies.
The original committee reference terms included 11 people representing a cross-section of ratepayers.
However, only six people nominated for the committee, despite a five-week extension of the nomination deadline.
A man has been taken to hospital after he was stabbed in Murchison East this evening.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
A town car to help transport people from outlying areas into town for medical appointments or to go shopping could work in Echuca, according to Campaspe Shire mayor Ian Maddison.
Rochester resident Ken Hocking has chosen to use his Christmas lights display to draw attention to a support group for brain tumour patients.
Rare and endangered plants which once flourished in the region are part of the proposed botanic garden 'Gargaro' at Girgarre.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.
Tim Hillier became the first Deniliquin Rhino to notch up a century in the Murray Valley Cricket Association with a sterling 104 against Cobram on Saturday.
Water held in spillable water accounts (SWAs) in the Murray and Goulburn systems will become available for use or trade following a declaration on Tuesday.
The hunt is on for a buyer for Benalla and Mansfield Toyota after the business went into receivership last fortnight.
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