Battle weather, shop early for Christmas, says trader

A LOCAL trader is urging residents to battle the weather and get their shopping done early. 

Steve Opie, manager at Messer & Opie in the Bridge Mall, said the weather was definitely keeping customers at home. 

“Trade hasn’t been too bad. We could just do with some consistent weather,” he said. 

“We need the customers to be motivated to come out and buy shorts and t-shirts. When it is raining, it is difficult.”

Mr Opie said trading so far had been similar to previous years, with many customers leaving their shopping until the last minute. 

“Get in early to ensure you get the product, because they forget the manufacturers probably have about another week and then we won’t be able to get a lot of things in because they will be closing,” he said. 

“It makes it harder if they want something in a certain size or a certain garment.”

The online shopping problem is not impacting the menswear trade as much as other areas, according to Mr Opie, who said it really only had an effect on smaller items like socks. 

“But if you are buying better end or tailored suits, it is a bit hard to buy online. What you think might be your size and then it arrives ... it might not fit,” he said. 

Mr Opie said shoppers still went to Melbourne. 

“They need to weigh up the cost. By the time they drive down and they park, have

they saved?” he said.  The store’s department manager, Tracy Goven, said customer service was one advantage the store kept over stores in Melbourne as well as the online trade. 

“People like personal service, our customers in particular, come here for the service,” she said.

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