Stockland Shopping Centre will feature 160 stores when a $150m expansion is complete.
Stockland Shopping Centre will feature 160 stores when a $150m expansion is complete. Chris Chan

Gladstone ready to take back shopping dollars from Rocky

CENTRAL Queensland is set for a shopping showdown when Gladstone's expanded Stockland shopping centre becomes a reality, with high hopes the centre will keep shopper dollars here.

Gladstone Regional Council has approved a $150 million expansion of the Kin Kora Shopping Centre, which will increase the number of shops to 160, and bring in Target, K-Mart and Coles.

Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers is keen to stop Gladstone residents with lazy Saturdays and Sundays to spare from travelling to Rockhampton to buy in bulk.

"It's important we keep that money here in Gladstone," she said.

"Rockhampton has been sucking our shoppers away from Gladstone for too long now."

A number of Rockhampton retailers said Gladstone shoppers made up a significant portion of their customer base.

Stockland retail and leasing general manager Robyn Stubbs said the franchise was confident there was more than enough local demand and population growth to ensure strong patronage and support for both shopping centres.

"We've undertaken significant studies and analysis of the respective trade areas surrounding our shopping centres at Gladstone and Rockhampton, and we're confident we can achieve strong support in both areas," she said.

"We've been reshaping our shopping centres with a clear objective to create the best retail offer in each trade area."

Cr Sellers said Gladstone was not only losing shoppers to Rockhampton, but it was also losing interest from people who had moved to Gladstone from larger cities.

She said a majority of Gladstone's population that had come from areas like Brisbane were into "city-slicker" shopping and weren't getting that experience in Gladstone.

The Mayor said the Rockhampton region needed to focus on promoting itself on its cultural merits and other attractions, rather than just being the shopping hub of central Queensland.

How often do you go shopping in Rockhampton?

This poll ended on 02 November 2013.

Current Results

All the time. I can never find what I want here

25%

Sometimes, if there's something I can't get locally

22%

Fairly often. It's cheaper there

24%

Hardly ever. I can find what I need in Gladstone

8%

Never. If I can't find something here, I buy it online

19%

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