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Fashion project highlights benefits of shopping locally

Saltt Clothing’s Lynette Morgan and Kayla Marshall say retailers face a battle in Gladstone.
Saltt Clothing’s Lynette Morgan and Kayla Marshall say retailers face a battle in Gladstone. Brenda Strong

GLADSTONE residents will be dressed to the nines under a new Buy Local project designed to lure locals to stores in town.

In September, Buy Local will launch the Style Me Up project, which is loosely based on the UK TV show Trinny and Susannah.

The project involves fashion gurus teaching Gladstone women how to shop for their body shape.

This comes as Gladstone shoppers voiced their wish lists on Facebook for clothing stores they'd like to see in town.

Myer, Sportsgirl, Ed Harry, Valley Girl and YD were some of the most popular suggestions.

Buy Local campaign manager Crystal McGregor said the project would encourage more shopping in town.

"The biggest problem is knowing what outfit you need before going shopping," she said.

"Unlike Rockhampton or Brisbane, Gladstone shoppers don't have the luxury of walking through a large shopping complex to browse."

In September Gladstone retailers will host the Style Me Up event.

Ms McGregor said one of the main problems with Gladstone shopping stemmed from customer perception.

She said customers believed Rockhampton and Brisbane were the only places they could shop for new clothes.

"We do have a good variety of stores and good brands, but they are scattered," she said.

"If shoppers aren't voicing their concerns about shopping in Gladstone, then they are not creating customer demand."

Ms McGregor said it was this perception that could deter new retailers from coming to town.

"They will only come to town if there is competition," she said. "If local businesses are going to invest here then they need demand."

Retailers hope luxury brands lure shoppers

IT'S a battle of the brands for Gladstone's clothing giants with retailers hoping exclusive labels will lure shoppers into stores.

Saltt Clothing owner Lynette Morgan said while it could be a struggle to secure some of the larger labels, it was always rewarding when they did.

She recently nabbed US label Guess for her Gladstone Central Shopping Centre and Boyne Island stores.

"They had to send pictures of our store to the US for approval. That was surreal," she said.

3Style Clothing owner Emma Stupkin said the Goondoon St store had exclusivity to the Wish label.

"It can be difficult for new businesses starting up (to secure big labels). We are lucky we secured them early," she said.

But retailers admit luxury labels may not be the answer to Gladstone's retail woes.

Both Lynette and Emma agreed retailers had problems with residents shopping out of town and online.

Gladstone shoppers' wish list

Womenswear: Millers, Sportsgirl, Ally, Forever New, Lorna Jane, Portmans.

Menswear: Lowes, YD, Ed Harry.

Unisex: Myer, full size Target, Rivers, City Beach, Cotton On, Dimmeys.

Topics:  buy local, fashion, gladstone business, retail



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