We spoke to a number of consumers and retailers this issue to find out how they feel about shopping malls and high street shops. Do they think they can co-exist? Is one better than the other and why? Hereís what they said:
Helen Safranek, Dentist, Lismore
For me shopping is all about convenience. With 2 young children I donít want to have to keep taking them in and out of the car, the big malls are great to do a major shop as you can do everything in one place. Parking is easy, they have great facilities for baby change, toilets, banking, food etc. I do like the high street and do use the high street shops if Iím popping out at lunch time, but with the family in tow it can be more challenging.
Treudie Kaehler, Treudieís Flowers in Paradise, Ballina
Yes I think they definitely can co-exist. Theyíre 2 totally different types of shopping that attract 2 very different kinds of clientele. High Street offers the shopper a cafť culture where one can stop for a cup of coffee, enjoy the shopping experience, browse a variety of stores and, in the case of Ballina Ė be near the water. Malls however, seem to offer the chance for someone to Ďget in and get outí when they need to get the groceries and have a set list of what they need.
Trish Cunningham, Office Manager, Byron Bay
I love high street shopping, itís where you can get independent shops and can buy stuff thatís a little bit different. Malls are pretty much the same all over so you know what youíre getting and I guess thatís good when youíre looking for work stuff and basic essentials. In the high street you can get things that are more unusual so itís great for finding unique presents and clothes. It can be more social, you get to know the people working in the shops and they look after you.
Kim Potter, Project Manager, BRAG
I think that we will see a trend away from generic shopping mall consumer habits. As a society we are now seeking a point of difference in everything that we do, we are focussing on community based values – and our understanding of local shopping habits has increased. We know that by supporting our local community shopkeepers that we are in fact preserving jobs in the future for our children and keeping our money in the local economy. The relationships that our local shopkeepers forge with their customers is second to none, and as customers we are prepared in some cases to pay slightly more for the privilege of these valued relationships.