Ipswich Mall: Last day of trading for Lowes
MEN'S clothing store Lowes is the latest to walk away from the struggling Ipswich mall.
After more than 20 years in the city's centre, today is the last day of trading before the store is cleared out. Both the stock and staff will be moved onto other shops in the area.
Lowes, which also has a store across the bridge at Riverlink, wouldn't comment on the decision, but the QT understands its business has been plagued by the same problems affecting others in the mall.
Continually dwindling foot traffic is placing too much pressure on owners to generate a profit and they're seeking more populated retail centres to set up shop.
But it's not all doom and gloom for the mall, there are new shops opening too.
Danielle McDonald is preparing the grand opening of her refurbished furniture store and says having Lowes move on will free up space for new, trendy businesses to open.
"There are all these cool little trendy coffee shops popping up in the CBD and I've noticed that's where the 'trendier' people tend to hang out, rather than at Riverlink," Ms McDonald said.
"Ipswich is so much cheaper to buy property than Brisbane and that's attracting younger, trendier people.
That's the market we're targeting."
With the much discussed redevelopment of Ipswich City Square still looming, new business owners are reluctant to move into the empty mall shop fronts. But Ms McDonald says the council made an offer she couldn't refuse.
She successfully applied to be part of the Activate Ipswich program that offers businesses free rent and insurance in the council-owned building.
Ms McDonald is one of 15 CBD business owners operating under the program right now and says without the deal, her dream of opening a refurbished furniture boutique wouldn't be possible.
The comic book store has also moved into the space left by Navie Jewellers that shut down last month and within the month a new homewares store will open around the corner closer to the top of town.