Thursday, 7th September, 2017
By By Emily Roberts
The loss of the Patton Street pharmacy has hit the precinct hard with many retailers struggling.
Patton Street has become a ghost street, according to one proud ‘Southie’ Toni Hennessy.
Toni frequents the St James Mart Op Shop regularly and said they have experienced a drop in sales.
“People that used to pop over while waiting for prescriptions are now going to the chemists in town,” she said.
“The pet shop is thinking about closing, it’s becoming a ghost town.
“St James Mart Op shop aren’t even making enough lately to cover their running costs.
“At the moment they are even running a fill the bag sale on clothes which usually does quite well but even that isn’t doing well.
“They just donated $1000 to the elevator fund for John Wren, at the amount they are making lately, that’s about two years’ profits.”
St James Mart volunteer Jean Garden said they have been struggling since the South Pharmacy shut and they have all noticed.
“We would have people put their scripts in and come over to have a browse,” she said.
“We would always make good sales, we would sell up to $100 a day in products.
“Now we are lucky to make $20 a day. It’s just dead.”
The $5 fill a bag promotion always manages to move stock, but this week they have struggled.
“We are trying to move our winter stock for summer but we can’t.
“The promotion ends this week and we won’t have moved enough stock.
“I don’t think many residents realise we are here.
“We encourage people to come out, our prices are really good.”
One of the Op Shop co-ordinators, Rosalee Hoysted, said it was shocking to see it change so quickly.
“All of Patton Street is quiet. Some shops are only getting one person a day.
Jean said they suffered a hit when Coles closed.
“We were dead, then it picked up a bit.
“Now, it’s almost not worth opening because we aren’t selling enough to cover things like our electricity prices.
“We don’t blame the chemist.
“All we want is support, we are very friendly. We laugh and joke with all our customers. Come out here and have a talk with us.”
The volunteers said they were happy to donate to John Wren’s elevator fund.
“We might need it one day,” Jean said.
They also donated to Playtime Preschool when they were broken into at the end of last year.
They like to donate as much as they can each year.