After 16 franchisees and 22 years, Rocky shop says goodbye
MAKING her way through a trade fair down south as a pharmacy worker, Carol Reid was mesmerised by all the trinkets on display.
It was there she knew she must start her very own gift shop back home in Rockhampton.
With all the children already moved out of home, Carol and her husband Alex made the decision to buy Australian Country Living in the Stockland shopping Centre.
Now 22 years on and after opening several franchises around Australia, the local pair are closing the shop and heading into retirement.
"I bought it when it was a going business but it was mainly filled with souvenirs,” Carol said.
"It had a name for being very expensive and I decided we would have to meet the average market with prices people could afford so we changed what stock we got in.”
It's a bitter-sweet moment for Carol and Alec who are sad to leave their customers behind but had no other choice due to sales slowing down over the years and overheads going up.
"Retail in Rockhampton is nothing now compared to what used,” Carol said.
"About 4 years ago things in Rocky just collapsed for businesses in Rocky and overheads just keep going up so you can't keep going.”
Alec said they made the decision not to renew the lease with online shopping playing a part in their closure.
"We have to be out of the shop and have it de-fitted by June 20,” Alex said.
"But if we sell out of items before then, then we will close the doors,” Carol added.
When at its peak the local business started a franchise which was established throughout both Queensland and New South Wales.
"We started a franchise because we had people asking if they could have shops like ours,” Carol said.
"At one stage there were 16 stores throughout Queensland and New South Wales.
"So every time someone wanted one we sort of just set it up and got it going from then.”
Carol said business at the time was "good and worth doing” but over the last few years the franchises had closed.
Throughout their 22 years, the pair said they had the pleasure of watching their customers children grow into young adults.
"We just loved it and all of our customers and we really want to thank them for their support,” Carol said.
"We decided its time to retire but now we will have weekends to ourselves, which we've never had before and we can see our grand kids,” Alex said.