SAD GOODBYE: Limelight Fashions owner Claire Trevorrow in the store.
SAD GOODBYE: Limelight Fashions owner Claire Trevorrow in the store. David Nielsen

Ipswich fashion store to step out of the limelight

AFTER 45 years, the sun is going down on Ipswich clothing store Limelight Fashions that has finally faded from popularity.

Owner Claire Trevorrow said the store that ended up in the Ipswich Mall would close at the end of this month after decades in fashion.

"It was mum and dad's business for 40 years and I bought it from them. I worked for mum before I bought it," Ms Trevorrow said.

"It started off where ANZ Bank is then it moved to 96 Brisbane St, which is a little bit down further.

"And then it was there and on the corner of East and Brisbane Sts and there was another one in the Ipswich Centre.

"That was in the 80s about when Reids burnt down. They also had one in Goodna and Redbank and Mt Ommaney."

The floods of 2011 that inundated the Ipswich CBD was the first blow for Limelight's store at the corner of East and Brisbane Sts.

"All the shops around me closed down after the floods and the last thing was Coles closed so there was no walk-by traffic so you had to move. People used to also park in Coles and walk up," she said.

"It was a destination shop; I mean, the windows sold the clothes. People would stop at the lights and look in at the clothes.

"It was always a destination shop for your special outfit when you were somewhere. That's what it was always known for. If you were going somewhere special and you needed an outfit. It wasn't over-the-top expensive but you got good quality.

"But then there was no parking so they'd have to drive around to find a car park.

"It was good for a while; there was a coffee shop and a beauty salon and a hairdresser and it was very busy but they all went pretty much within a month and left me there by myself."

Limelight moved into the mall in September 2011 but while it seemed a good spot, Ms Trevorrow's success was spasmodic.

"This is the only spot for walk-by but you've got people you'd rather not have in the mall and you're sick of fights and all that going on in the mall," she said.

"There's nowhere else to put it.

"I'm not going to Riverlink; it's too expensive."

The rise of people shopping online was the death knell but the writing was already on the wall.

"It's contributed to it," Ms Trevorrow said. "I mean, people buy a $40 dress from America; you can't compete with things like that.

"They're cheap and nasty but they're $40 rather than going to a shop and paying $300, which isn't expensive compared to Brisbane. So, it isn't the sole reason but it's a contributing factor."

Overall, she says, people have changed their shopping habits; they're holding on to their money a lot more because money's tight.

"I know everyone's struggling, businesses around here; their sales are really down. Last year was probably the worst year in a long time," she said.

"I know a lot of businesses here who would like to move or are thinking of closing. It's not great times but there's nothing much you can do about it."

Asked about her plans, she said: "I don't know yet".

"I've only ever worked for mum and dad. That's all I grew up with; I was a baby when she started the shop so that's all I've lived and breathed all this time," she said.

"I am sad because it's been a family business forever and it's sad that it has to end like this."

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