SALE: Jade Whillans said many customers were disappointed to see the store closing.
SALE: Jade Whillans said many customers were disappointed to see the store closing. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Bumper sale: Bundy fashion store's shock closure

THERE will soon be one less home and gift-wares shop in town as Bali Gifts at Hinkler Central announces its permanent closure.

The idyllic island themed store will cease trading next weekend and owner Rod Clark said it was just the way business goes.

"We've been in Bundaberg for about four years now but Bundaberg's economy is just not working for us,” Mr Clark said.

"We began at Sugarland and then moved around Hinkler to a few different locations, we thought moving into the old ICE store would give it a kick along, but it hasn't happened the way we'd planned and it's costing us money, that's for sure.”

The Hinkler Central shop is holding a storewide 40 per cent off sale, with some exclusions applying, but everything is discounted to some degree.

Mr Clark, who had just a few years ago closed his Hervey Bay outlet as well, said there were a range of different economic factors that had resulted in this decision.

"Shopping centres go in cycles - if leases on big anchor stores end, the centre will go through a quiet period and then might pick back up at a later date,” he said.

"There are also bigger picture politics at play.

"Hervey Bay and Bundaberg are in the top three for youth unemployment and with the age demographic, we've finally slowed down that much that we can't make a dollar.”

Mr Clark said there might be a time in the future where opening a store could be viable but for the time being it was time to close up shop.

"We may come back around Christmas time but for the present, there's no plans,” he said.

"Our staff are fantastic down there, they're long-term staff and what we usually do is leave for a little while and then come back with a fresh feel.”

Staff member Jade Whillans said their soy melts and candles had been flying out the door.

"So many customers have said to me that we can't close - they are sad to see us go.”