Camden Haven businesses and consumers react to cost-of-living pressures

Don and Norma Hannah shopping at Lakewood.

THE release of the Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator for April indicates inflation is lower than expected, but how are price pressures affecting small businesses and consumers in the Camden Haven area?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, nationally prices on clothing and footwear are up 2.4 percent from April 2023 to April 2024.

Chrissy and Leon Bean from Pomegranate Clothing in Laurieton feel this is not the only thing affecting their well-established business however.

“We are spending more upfront to buy goods in bulk to try and keep our prices down,” Chrissy said.

“We have absorbed most increases to rates, rent and electricity ourselves to try and maintain competitive retail prices.”

Leon feels younger families are the most affected by current cost-of-living pressures.

“There have been minimal changes for our over 50s clientele, but we have noticed a big drop in our under 40s customers with young families,” he said.

Both Chrissy and Leon commented that Laurieton relies on visitors for business, and that recent bad weather has not helped Bold Street customer traffic.

Tom Tarpey from Happy Butcher at Lakewood also found the weather had made business unpredictable.

“There seems to be far less cash available and we have seen a big increase in credit card purchases.”

Tom confirmed his regular customers tended to be in the 40-plus demographic, suggesting younger families “tend to be supermarket shoppers”.

Local consumers Norma and Don Hannah said rising costs across the board had affected their shopping habits.

“We look for specials now and compare Coles at Laurieton to Woolies at Lakewood when deciding where to shop,” said Norma.

Tom has also been shopping around for value.

“We used to go to Port Macquarie weekly but now only once a month, and when there we check out Aldi,” he said, adding that fuel costs, whilst improved by his purchase of a hybrid vehicle, reduced his ability to travel as regularly.


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