Growth in Sunday shopping trading hours
SUNDAYS are looking brighter in Lismore, with a bunch of businesses now opening.
The Toy Kingdom in Woodlark Street extended its opening hours before Christmas and has decided to open on the first and third Sundays of the month to coincide with Lismore's Car Boot Market.
Assistant manager Hollie James is hoping other businesses follow.
“We would love to start a trend and have the heart of Lismore a lot busier on Sundays,” she said.
Woodlark Street is the busiest area of the CBD on a Sunday. Businesses opening include Spotlight, Autobarn, Cyrus Rugs, Trade Price Furniture, EB Games, Van Loi Hot Bread and Sweet Pea Gelato Internet Cafe.
Some are franchises that open on Sundays because it's part of their agreement, but others, such as Cyrus Rugs, find that people like to come out on a Sunday to shop together for household items.
Open from 10am to 3pm, employee Julie Porter said business can be surprisingly good on the seventh day of the week.
Other businesses decide to open on Sunday to make up for longer breaks during the year.
Owner of Van Loi Hot Bread, Joanna Chen, said she likes to take 30 to 40 days off a year to visit China.
“We open Sundays to make up trading hours lost over our holiday period, but Sundays are busy for us,” said Ms Chen.
But Lismore Council's economic development unit manager Ruth Povall cautioned business owners about making the move without doing their homework.
“You need to think carefully about what you can offer to get the shoppers downtown,” Ms Povall added.
Council has been conducting research into what shoppers want through its Lismore Alive project.
Lismore Alive co-ordinator Mitch Low has been running focus groups to learn about what people want in Sunday trading. Lismore's economic development unit wants to oversee a co-ordinated approach to Sunday trading and will be presenting research findings and a strategy for business in a few months.
“We want to trial seven-day trading for three months, backed up with good marketing and promotion,” Mr Low said.
“The best approach is one of working together.”