Shop Local: corner shops play great role in community, says Claremont Liquor Barons owner


Claremont Liquor Barons operator Bernard Hubbard sees a greater role for local shopping. Picture: Jon Bassett
Claremont Liquor Barons operator Bernard Hubbard sees a greater role for local shopping. Picture: Jon Bassett

CLAREMONT Liquor Barons operator Bernard Hubbard says individuals provide the future for corner bottleshops contributing to local economies.

“Despite the expansion of chain stores and online shopping, there is still a future for stand-alone liquor shops, but they will be like the Oddbins chain of independent off-licences in the UK,” Mr Hubbard said.

He said 80 per cent of his trade was from nearby residents.

“And they keep coming back because it’s local and friendly.”

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After a career in hotels and pubs, Mr Hubbard has operated his Ashton Avenue bottleshop, a former corner deli, for nearly three decades.

“We had lived here for eight years when we took over 25 years ago, and saw the kids grow up here,” he said.

Maintaining regular customers and attracting new purchasers depends on ensuring people like to come to the bottleshop and the service they received.

“We’re friendly, and we’ll carry cartons to the ute for the tradies, as well as the ladies,” Mr Hubbard said.

He has sold cheeses and other delicacies to diversify but now concentrates on a selection of alcohol.

However, corner shops, whether they sold alcohol or coffee, was a deli or a post office, had greater roles to play in their communities.

Mr Hubbard’s business supports primary schools’ P&Cs and Claremont Football Club.

“Small businesses also employ more people and you have the luxury of convenience,” Mr Hubbard said.

“If independent traders disappear, convenience disappears.”

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