Retailers pleased with survey responses

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A GoRetail Shopper’s survey has revealed there is a demand for Gore retailers to have longer opening hours at weekends, particularly on Saturdays.

The desire for longer opening hours appears to be prompted by consumers’ busier lifestyles.

A synopsis of the survey’s findings was presented to retailers at a midwinter get-together this week organised by GoRetail group members. More than 30 people from the retail and hospitality sectors attended the gathering at the Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room.

The online survey was carried out to give retailers a better understanding of the needs and expectations of their customers as the marketplace continued to evolve, GoRetail spokesman Ivan van de Water said.

More than 250 people completed it, representing a broad cross-section of the community.

Going well . . .GoRetail spokesman Ivan van de Water says a consumer survey shows GoRetail is on the right track, but there is still much more traders can do. PHOTOS: ENSIGN FILE

Mr van de Water said the group was delighted with the depth of responses and the insight they provided.

“Consumers told us we’re on the right track, but reminded traders there’s still much to do in delivering the range people now expect from their town centres,” Mr van de Water said.

The need to look again at weekend opening hours, particularly Saturdays, and a value-priced clothing store were high on the agenda for survey respondents.

“Many people are still missing Postie Plus from Gore’s town centre,” he said.

The successful Love Gore Shop Local programme, which helped emphasise the need and value in supporting neighbourhood businesses, was now in its second year, he said.

“It has been great to see retailers working together for the benefit of their town and customers.”

A key strategy had been to ensure Gore’s retail experience continued to shape around its customers, he said.

“This is especially important in what is a highly competitive market where shoppers’ choices are wider than ever before.”

Like in many New Zealand towns and cities, online spending continued to grow, Mr van de Water said.

Gore residents also spent in nearby Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown, all of which reduced the income potential for businesses in Gore, despite continually improving shopping and hospitality offers.

Lorraine Nicholson, of First Retail Group, who has been working with Gore businesses, said the support for traders in Gore was unique and heartwarming.

“We work extensively around the country, but shoppers in Gore are especially proud of their town and its value to the community,” Mrs Nicholson said.

“We’re sure this recent initiative will help remind people of the value and need to keep it local,” she said.