Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Customers Core of Booval Fair; Centre Takes Pride in Catering to Mix of Local Shoppers

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Customers Core of Booval Fair; Centre Takes Pride in Catering to Mix of Local Shoppers

Article excerpt

FIRM FOCUS

with Ashley Jones

WE TAKE them for granted, but our local stores and businesses are significant in our day-to-day life.

Booval Fair is one such shopping centre that has endeared itself to locals since it opened in 1969.

Its sheer longevity is testament to its ability to meet the needs of locals.

The Booval Fair of today is a far cry from the original centre that was opened on November 27, 1969 as the Woolworths Family Centre.

It was an exciting addition to Booval and the greater Ipswich area as it brought a Woolworths supermarket and the Big W department store to the local area.

According to Woolworths Properties, it was the first of these developments in Australia and following its success spawned many more around the country.

The new concept of the "Woolworths Family Centre" included some specialty shops and the two major tenants.

It changed the landscape of the suburb and retailing for good in the local area.

Some of the original physical structure is evident today, but importantly the Booval Fair of today still has those core values that were laid along with the bricks and mortar.

"Customers treat us like old friends, these are people who have lived in the area for most of their lives and others have come more recently. It is a convenient centre for locals," according to Booval Fair's Marketing Manager Lauren Roche.

Booval Fair has the two major anchor tenants in Woolworths and Big W but now has more than 55 specialty stores in the centre.

"We have always been about customer convenience and our focus is making sure we have the right tenancy mix in the centre. We are building on what we have. Yes Optus has moved near Big W, we also welcome A1 Sushi and Technology Traders," she said.

While Ms Roche was tight-lipped on detail there is no doubt there are some exciting changes to come to the centre in the next 12 months.

"We will have some store relocations and some national brands coming," she said.

It may surprise you to know that Booval Fair has 3.5 million customer visits per year with 1276 car parks, the majority of them undercover.

It is the undercover car park that not only protects customer vehicles from the heat and storms but is also home to the Oz Night Markets each Saturday late afternoon and evening.

Booval Fair prides itself on customer focus and is delighted to be part of the City Heart Cabs Program.

"Our customers can come from nearby suburbs for just $2 each way. The service is supported by Ipswich City Council and Yellow Cabs to assist pensioners, those with a disability and their carers," Ms Roche said.

"We have a community notice board to help our customers to promote events or a garage sale two weeks out from the date absolutely free of charge. …

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