Shopping habits are always changing.
Once upon a time, the main form of retail was a trip to the Launceston CBD, an all-day affair, where you could casually walk around independent retailers and browse a vast array of unique goods. That's still possible in Launceston today - but only if these shops continue to get the support of locals.
Instead, the trend seems to be endlessly towards national and multinational retailers that offer the convenience of a guaranteed free park, consistency in their product supply and air-conditioned comfort.
Big box development started in earnest in Launceston with Bunnings. The Invermay precinct has since grown to include JB Hi-Fi, Pet Stock and Officeworks. This expansion seems to be an inevitability in the 21st century, and the possible addition of The Good Guys at its rear pushes it into a new direction and suggests this isn't the last of it.
Yet while other regional cities have these precincts in the suburbs, or perched on the outskirts - creating a clear differential with the CBD - Launceston's is wedged awkwardly between a congested highway that funnels traffic into the city, a built-up residential area, a river and the CBD itself.
Traffic regularly banks up in all directions and is particularly time-consuming to navigate when trying to turn south-ward from Lindsay Street after exiting the Bunnings. A large roundabout - proposed years ago before the area expanded - was a far better solution, but is impossible now.
The City of Launceston's vision for this area appears to be more traffic lights, opening up a new access road at the rear and hoping for the best. Much of the Invermay Traffic Master Plan has its focus elsewhere.
As Launceston's population continues to grow, and more big box retailers and other development is added to Invermay, it's impossible to see how the traffic will improve.
It could get to a point where the inconvenience of driving to the area outweighs the convenience of the retailers themselves.
Maybe, after all this, taking the bus, walking or riding a bike into the CBD and leisurely strolling around the independent shops is the most convenient option of all.