Success stories reveal a point of difference

TWO fresh faces have entered Nowra’s retail scene, attracted by the pop-up shop idea.

And more new businesses are on their way. 

Eurolight plans to open a store in Junction Street, a new coffee shop is planned for Kinghorne Street and a new hair salon opened recently.

Laura Griffiths opened her portion of Kinghorne Street’s Pop-up Palace, since given the more permanent name Kinghorne Traders, with her business Bicycle Lane.

Her partner Josh Nicholson opened a graphic arts service in the same building.

MICRO BUSINESS: Laura Griffiths and Josh Nicholson say the pop-up shop formula works for them.

MICRO BUSINESS: Laura Griffiths and Josh Nicholson say the pop-up shop formula works for them.

The pair moved from Canberra to set up in Nowra, Ms Griffiths’ former home.

“The mall culture is horrible,” she said. 

“Malls all have the same thing. Even the same air-conditioning,” she said.

“I have had an online shop for two years and was going to markets but I’ve always wanted to have a retail shop.”

Mr Nicholson said he thinks the CBD could benefit from refreshing.

“The company I used to work with is doing the rebranding for the CBD,” he said.

Kinghorne Traders owner Catherine Shields said the idea had taken off.

“We offer small business people a chance to try retail at a reasonable outlay and without having to commit to a five-year lease,” she said.

“Really, Nowra’s no different to any other area. The pop-up trend is popular in a myriad of places.”

Ms Shields said recent retail closures were most likely caused by a combination of factors hurting local businesses. 

“There are a lot of operators who are hard-working and offer a good service but for some reason beyond their control it doesn’t work,” she said.

“In a country town people come looking for shops they can’t find in Westfield and shops in Sydney. 

“There is a tourism opportunity to turn Nowra into a groovy boutique town, in the same way Berry and Milton have become an attraction for city slickers who were bored with the Sydney shopping scene.”

Shoalhaven Business Chamber general manager Jennifer Stewart said retail vacancies were more a case of shuffling shops more than closing them.

“We have found is there has been a lot of movement in retailers,” she said.

“Yes there are vacant shops.

“But there has been a lot of movement lately.”

Shane Atkin, who started High Performance Diecast Models in Nowra six years ago, said he has managed to survive and thrive because he was careful about his financial outlays for stock.

“I have always based my stock on the things customers ask for and the things they can’t get at another local shop,” he said.

“I think one of the most important things is you have to listen to the customers,” he said.

EMPTY: For lease and closing down signs are a common sight in Nowra’s CBD.

EMPTY: For lease and closing down signs are a common sight in Nowra’s CBD.

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