Toowoomba supermarket fights with midnight trading

Foodworks staff member Carmel Gaskey with owner Debbie Smith.
Foodworks staff member Carmel Gaskey with owner Debbie Smith. Rachael Murray

IT'S a tough world out there for an independent supermarket, but Foodworks co-owners Debbie Smith and Lindy Baker have chosen to adapt to survive.

Their store at Northlands is the first supermarket in Toowoomba open until midnight every night.

The arrival of supermarket giants at Northpoint Shopping Centre has made business more of a struggle for the owners as they were forced to consider staff cuts.

The extended hours have allowed them to keep people on.

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"We did it to save jobs, to give people an alternative (to the big supermarkets) and because we are legally able," Ms Smith said.

"This is our way of fighting. The only way was to be innovative and available to our customers. There are so many Coles and Woolworths in Toowoomba..."

Is there a need in Toowoomba for a supermarket that opens until midnight?

This poll ended on 09 July 2015.

Current Results

Yes

72%

No

27%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The extended hours have been in operation since after Easter and Ms Smith said the response so far had been positive.

"Shift-workers are very happy, as they often finish between 10pm and 11pm," she said.

"Our existing customers are in favour and we have new customers discovering the store.

EDITORIAL: Shop until you drop in Toowoomba

"We need to get the word out."

She said the decision would help Foodworks regain a position in the market and grow business.

"We need to show the community that independent markets are competitive and worthwhile supporting.

Faithful Foodworks customer Lyn Frauenfelder shops at the supermarket regularly.

"We're in bed early so the late hours don't really affect us," she joked.

"But we love coming here. They try harder and always have what we want."

EXTENDED HOURS

  • Where: Northlands Foodworks, 8 Hume St
  • When: Open until midnight, every day except public holidays

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