Bargain hunters pack closing Gladstone jewellery store
A CROWD of bargain hunters packed in tight at 10am outside Neville Gregory Leading Edge Jewellers to have first crack at scoring some of the ridiculous deals on offer.
After 43 years of trading in jewellery, watches and clocks in Gladstone, the Neville Gregory Jewellers shop in the Stockland Centre will close its doors for the last time at the end of January next year.
To mark the end of an era owner Karen Gregory is offering 60% off everything store wide.
Ms Gregory said she had been overwhelmed since Monday with customers pouring over her bling and packing out the store from 9am to 8pm every day.
"They've absolutely cleaned us out," she said.
She said there were many reasons the shop was closing down but believed the combined effect of the downturn in Gladstone's economy and the flood of jewellers in the Stockland Centre meant she could no longer compete in the market.
"We've got four jewellers in the one small shopping centre," she said.
"The independents have been squeezed out by the big multinationals.
"We can't compete when they've got sales on 12 months of the year," she said.
Although Ms Gregory said she still had the passion, running a jewellery shop in Gladstone was getting harder and harder.
"We've been an institution in Gladstone and it's sad for the whole family," she said.
Eager shopper Kris Lennon was first in line this morning and had visited the shop twice this week.
"I came on Monday and it took two hours to get served," she said.
"Then I came back the next day and waited two and a half hours so we just gave up."
She said customers in the shop were behaving well and that most people were "pretty nice".
"But when you've got 60% off everything people just push in," she said.
Katie Timmins had come to buy a necklace yesterday but she had her kids with her which made it too difficult to stick it out.
"I've left the kids at home today and will be here until I have to," she said.
"I'm not going to trip anyone over. I've just got to wait it out."