Ballina bridal boutique will close after eight years
TREUDIE Kaehler has been in business in Ballina for 42 years, so her decision to close one of her River St shops wasn't made lightly.
She will soon shut the doors to Paradise Brides boutique, which has been going for about eight years.
It is located next door to her long-established floristry business, Flowers in Paradise.
"It is a sad time for me," Ms Kaehler said.
"The bridal shop is very time consuming and the profits just aren't as good as they are in the florist.
"I can spend three hours with a bride and not make a sale.
"I have loved helping women choose a dress for their special day - it's a bit like playing with dolls.
"But closing the shop will allow me to focus once again on my flowers.
"It will be a load off my mind, so in a way, it is a good thing. We gave it a good go."
The decision to shut the doors is also reflective of the state of Ballina's economy, Ms Kaehler said.
"It's really, really tight," she said.
"In 42 years I have never known it to be like this before.
"Ballina normally bounds back from the downturns, but we rely on tourism and the building industry, and neither of those things is particularly strong at the moment."
Ms Kaehler said it was good to see some of the city centre's empty shops filling up again.
However there are still a number of empty shops in River St alone.
It is hoped the reopening of Little Woolies will reinvigorate the CBD and bring some much-needed business back to town.
The supermarket is expected to open by the end of the year.
Ballina Shire Council's planned redevelopment of 22 shops in the Wigmore Arcade will provide another boost to the CBD.
The council will also demolish the Center and Tamar Arcades to make way for new car parking.