Explained: Why East Street business is closing

The doors are set to close on a Rockhampton CBD business.

CQ Blasters, which sells gel blasters and accessories, will trade at 118 East Street for the last time on Saturday.

Damien Geyer - a partner in the business which is owned by Leigh Vickerstaffe - said various factors were to blame, with a lack of parking in the CBD a major one.

The business partners had rented the store since mid-2019.

Mr Geyer said their Gladstone shop in Tank Street remained open, and the leases on the playing fields in both Rockhampton and Gladstone would continue.

“It was a difficult decision, but businesses need to make money,” he said.

“This was our first shop, we had it before the Gladstone one, but it is just not working for us at all now.

CQ Blasters owner Leigh Vickerstaffe at the East Street store, which will close on Saturday.
CQ Blasters owner Leigh Vickerstaffe at the East Street store, which will close on Saturday.

We are going backwards and it’s a real shame because when we first opened, we were doing so well.

“Over the past 12 months COVID took a bit of a toll, and JobKeeper has finished now.

“Parking is a massive issue. We’ve had numerous complaints about it; people can’t park and get to the shop.

“It doesn’t help that the Kern Arcade carpark is now private.

“All those things combined led to really poor turnover.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to let our store manager go. That was a very hard phone call to make to him.”

Mr Geyer said he and Ms Vickerstaffe had been looking for a new location since Christmas but had not yet found anything suitable.

“Being a destination shop, we’ve decided we’re probably better off moving out of the CBD because customers will come and see us regardless as long as they can get a park,” he said.

Mr Geyer said they would continue selling equipment at the weekly Sunday club days at Callaghan Park, and servicing and repairs could also be done at the Gladstone store.



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