SEVENTY-SIX full-time equivalent jobs have been lost from 118 Launceston retail stores in the past year, a new survey has revealed.
It also revealed parking rates in the central business district were a concern for retailers and that 40 per cent of them would open on Sundays and public holidays if penalty rates were reduced or abolished.
The Launceston Chamber of Commerce and Cityprom surveyed the retailers, the majority of which were located in Launceston's central business district employed less than 10 people.
Thirty-two retailers said they had reduced staff in the past 12 months, which equated to the loss of 76 full-time equivalent jobs.
Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said she was surprised with that number, despite knowing the retail industry was doing it tough.
``We were also surprised with the level of likely employment that would be generated if penalty rates were changed,'' Ms Tetlow said.
Cityprom executive officer Vanessa Cahoon said the survey highlighted the fact that something needed to be done to fix the parking issue in the city.
``Despite the fact that there are a number of free parking initiatives already in place, it is perhaps time to review their effectiveness,'' Ms Cahoon said.
``We've already had preliminary discussions with [the Launceston City] council and will continue these.''
Hourly off-street parking in Launceston is $1.60 from Monday to Friday, compared with about $1 in Hobart.
Retailers said the main reason they suffered in the past 12 months was because of lack of turnover due to reduced consumer confidence.
However, 47 per cent indicated that profitability for the next 12 months would be similar to last financial year, with 26 per cent believing it would improve.
More retailers were also taking advantage of online space.
Ms Cahoon said Cityprom would launch a rebranding in late September or early October that should generate an increase in visitation to the city centre.