A local florist says she's been forced to make the difficult decision to close her shop in the CBD due to declining foot traffic in the wake of upgrades made to the Quadrant Mall.
Jo Pennington bought Walkers Flowers in Dicky Whites Lane in 2009 but the store was established 144 years ago.
It will close its doors today.
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"Sales of both the flowers and the giftware have just steadily fallen, probably over the last couple of years," Ms Pennington said. "And particularly since the redevelopment the council did in Dicky Whites Lane and the Quadrant Mall."
In 2016, the City of Launceston upgraded the ageing infrastructure in the mall. It was the first major public space redevelopment undertaken as part of the Launceston City Heart Project.
For Ms Pennington, that was the beginning of the end for her business, which sourced its fresh flowers and foliage from local growers.
"When [the council] did all of [the upgrades], they had to basically fence us off," she said. "And people were not even detouring in here, thinking it was closed."
"[People] got out of the habit of coming through."
Ms Pennington, who is also a teacher, said she'd been considering closing the store for the last 12 months.
"I've been lucky in that I've been able to have another source of income to supplement the place," she said.
"I've actually been relief teaching."
Walkers Flowers marked 50 per cent off all products in the immediate lead-up to its closure.
When [the council] did all of [the upgrades], they had to basically fence us off. And people were not even detouring in here, thinking it was closed.Jo Pennington
City of Launceston general manager Michael Stretton said the council hated to see any business close but added that there had been "a lot of changes in the world in the five years since the [Quadrant Mall] upgrade".
"Notably [there was] the boom in online shopping and increased competition in the retail sector," he said.
"While we understand ... renewal projects can create challenges for businesses, it was important to upgrade a space like the Quadrant Mall when we did that work in early 2016 to ensure it met contemporary standards."
Mr Stretton said the space wasn't compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act prior to the upgrade.
"[It] featured uneven cobblestones and outdated seating, had less greenery than today, and poorer lighting," he said.
"It had not seen significant upgrades for decades."
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