Farmers Market good for others – chamber

Kalamunda town centre.
Kalamunda town centre.

August marked the first anniversary of State Government legislation that enabled shops across the Perth metro area to open late on weekdays and on Sundays. A handful of small Kalamunda businesses regularly open their doors on Sundays to coincide with the Farmers Markets.

Chamber executive officer Karen Stevens said without the market, the businesses would not stand a chance.

‘Without the Kalamunda Farmers Market encouraging shoppers into the town, there would not be a lot of people and shops and cafes in the Central Mall and Haynes Street would struggle,’ she said.

‘Some businesses that already opened on Sundays have not reported a drop-off in sales due to extended trading across the board. However others, such as the IGA supermarket, have noticed a difference.’

Farmers Market manager Neta Parker said about 1200 people regularly attended the Sunday markets each week.

‘The businesses that do open are taking advantage of having the markets,’ she said.

Forrestfield Foodworks manager Connie Macri said extended trading had hit the business hard.

‘Sunday was our best day, but our turnover was reduced by one third,’ she said.

‘Now we are up against Coles and Woolies ” there are three major shops in a short distance open on Sundays ” and we are all fighting for a small percentage of shoppers.’

Ms Macri said while penalty rates were not a factor, the business had been forced to reduce shifts to keep costs down

‘We always had to pay penalties but we have had to reduce the hours in shifts and when people leave, we don’t replace them. We have gone from a staff of 52 to 32,’ she said.

Ms Stevens said business owners would be wary about extending Sunday trading hours further, a plan currently under consideration by the Barnett Government.