Woolworths has responded to a call last week by the Mullumbimby Forum to conduct a valid poll of residents in the town.
Community relations manager for the retail giant, Simon Berger, said Woolworths believed the vote the people of Mullumbimby should have was the ability to vote with their feet, which meant having the choice to shop at Woolworths.
“We can’t agree in principle with the ‘winner takes all’ assumption in the Mullumbimby Forum’s opinion poll challenge,” he said. “If, for example, a majority supported Woolworths, we wouldn’t expect the Mullumbimby Forum to be silenced and not express their views – it’s a free country.
“Similarly, if for whatever reason 51 per cent didn’t support Woolworths, that shouldn’t preclude us from putting our offer to those who do want to shop with us, or trying to earn the support of others.
“Woolworths has a right to put our offer to the people of Mullumbimby and believes the views of some shouldn’t take away the choice of others.”
Mr Berger said the Woolworths development was not about changing the unique character or lifestyle of Mullumbimby, but about giving a better offer of quality, range, convenience and value so shopping could fit around people’s lifestyles, rather than the other way around.
He said the company had feedback from many locals who supported Woolworths, including many who regularly shopped in neighbouring towns.
“We believe that providing choice locally will help keep expenditure within Mullumbimby and benefit many local small businesses, including specialty shops,” he said
“Woolworths understands there is a diversity of opinion and that support needs to be earned.
“We don’t earn business by doing what we want, but by offering what customers want, in terms of range, convenience and value.”
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