'It's a ghost town': Centre struggles after shock closure
THE sudden closure of a busy Coast supermarket has left its surrounding businesses in limbo.
It was announced on July 12 that two Buderim IGAs, on Pittards Rd and King St, were closing down, much to the shock of staff and nearby business owners.
A liquidator was appointed to both stores and over a week later, the centre has been described as a "ghost town". A call to support the surrounding businesses was posted to Facebook but North Buderim Guardian Pharmacy owner Rami Morcos was unsure it would be enough.
"We are concerned," he said. "The closure of that shop has already affected traffic in the area from people who did their groceries and then came into the smaller businesses.
"But it's not really convenient for them to come here any more."
Mr Morcos said he was worried shoppers would take their pharmacy needs elsewhere.
"We are feeling the closure, it is getting quieter," he said.
"The day the store closed we didn't know until like 3pm when all the staff gathered out the front.
"All the businesses here were just as shocked."
Mr Morcos said no one was expecting it.
"It's frustrating for us, but mostly for all the staff who now don't have jobs," he said.
"You could tell they were very upset and angry. But now there is nothing we can do about it, we will continue to run as normal and offer the services we always do."
The pharmacist said how the Coles development across the road would affect the centre was "unpredictable".
"We don't know what is going in there and it's not going to be built for a long time.
"For now, we still have customers."
That Little Flower Shop owner Sally Reeves said looking out her store windows the centre was "like a ghost town".
"I have been here for four years and this is the quietest I have ever seen it.
"It's affected the whole centre and I can see why there is concern."
A staff member at the Beer Wine and Spirits bottle-o said the closure was sad news but some businesses would benefit from it.
Other businesses in the centre were contacted for comment.