Corner store defies trends

Barry McQueen from Baz and Shaz’s corner store in Suffolk Park is busy as usual and the business continues to flourish.
Barry McQueen from Baz and Shaz’s corner store in Suffolk Park is busy as usual and the business continues to flourish. Blainey Woodham

IF THE death knell is sounding for the Aussie corner store, it's not being heard at Shaz & Baz's place at Suffolk Park.

While national media were yesterday mourning the death of the "mum and dad" corner store - announced by the Andrew Reitzer, chief executive of grocery distributor and convenience store operator Metcash - Sharon and Barry McQueen, daughter Danielle and son-in-law Luke Joyce were run off their feet.

Shaz & Baz is the exception to the rule, if Mr Reitzer - described yesterday by one commentator as having a reputation as a "shrewd and tough operator" - is right.

Mr Reitzer said the price war between Coles and Woolworths was killing the corner store, as he announced his company would shut down 15 stores and sack close to 500 people.

"The unbranded corner store, once they join a brand like Foodworks or 7-Eleven or IGA Express, then they're part of a buying group and they get lower prices and deals, but a stand-alone corner store I don't think has a future," he was reported as saying.

That's clearly not the case at Shaz & Baz. So what do Sharon and Barry McQueen know that the head of Metcash doesn't?

The answer boils down to service and an effort to keep prices as low as possible.

"Ninety per cent of our customers we know by name," Mrs McQueen said.

She credited strong community support for the store's success. However, there were other elements helping out - like listening and trying to meet customers' product requests and trying to source local produce.

Over 12 years of trading, first at the Beaches of Byron caravan park store and then at Suffolk, that had helped them develop a range of products that, in some cases, couldn't be found at Coles or Woolies.

Topics:  supermarket

Friendly clowns ready for Pink Halloween

TICKLED PINK: Lismore Clinic's friendly clowns Mel Rumble, Jodie McLean, Maree Cocciola and Kerry Drechsler are looking forward to the sold-out Pink Halloween event this weekend.

Friendly clowns fundraise for Jodie's Inspiration

WATCH: 2 car crash flips van

The scene of the accident on the corner of Ballina Rd and Invercauld Rd

A male driver has been taken to hospital

Local Partners

Radio presenter's shocking joke about Dreamworld victims

Images from the scene after four people died on a ride at Dreamworld at the Gold Coast

Radio host taken off air after tactless Dreamworld joke

The Bachelorette fans rally around devastated Matty J

The Bachelorette runner-up Matty Johnson.

CALLS for reality dating show's runner-up to be the next Bachelor.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

An intimate, honest performance with Renee Simone

SHE IS BACK: Miss Renee Simone will play Mullum Music Festival this year.

At Mullum Music Festival next month

Exterminate! Exterminate! The Daleks are coming

BCC Lismore will be screening a limited-run theatrical special presentation event of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks animated series from Saturday, November 12.

This is one of the most celebrated Doctor Who stories

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June