Service still important for shoppers

Shannon BochenekManjimup-Bridgetown Times

Businesses in Manjimup are faring well approaching the peak of the Christmas rush, according to the Manjimup Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Chamber president Kent Roberts said he believed the region’s businesses were lucky to benefit from buyer loyalty, something which was rare in Perth.

“I think we’re probably in a little bit of a struggling economy at the moment,” he said.

“They’re suffering in the city more than in the country, there’s less loyalty there.

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“The businesses probably wouldn’t say they’re booming at the moment.

“But compared to the rest of WA we’re tracking pretty well.”

After 20 years of business in Manjimup, Toyworld owner Jenny Hanrahan agreed, saying Toyworld had a loyal customer base that had continued to support the business.

Mr Roberts said he believed goods and service providers in Manjimup were generally competitive with other business districts and it was important to continue ensuring that was the case.

“Generally it is the case, people try to look after local people,” he said.

“It’s great to shop locally where you can, but I don’t expect people to get ripped off.”

While the expanding online shopping market has had an effect on local businesses, Mr Roberts said customers still seemed to value service.

“Definitely, it’s had an effect on small businesses, especially retail,” he said.

“But nothing beats good old fashioned service.”

Manjimup business owner Jay James of James the Jeweller said he felt online shopping had taken away business locally but he still felt supported by a mostly local clientele and business was expected to peak in the coming weeks.

“It’s similar to the previous couple of years,” he said.

“Sometimes it all happens in the last few weeks before Christmas.”

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