After 20 years in retail, the ACT Cancer Council will close its SunSmart Shop, currently located in Fairbairn.
The CEO of Cancer Council ACT, Joan Bartlett, says the shop has never paid for itself.
However, Ms Bartlett says that the low cost of maintaining the store, combined with the incentive to provide sun-safe products to the ACT community, has been reason enough to keep the business going over the years.
“It would be true to say that it has never really paid for itself. In earlier times the Cancer Council ACT has been happy to absorb the costs as a community service, so long as our costs were not too high”, Ms Bartlett says.
Ms Bartlett elaborated by saying that Canberra’s unpredictable climate and the state of retail have acted as other contributing factors to making the decision.
“Our business is very weather dependent and you will know that volatile conditions have characterised the last few summers. This, plus the parlous state of retail in general now, and over recent years, contributed to our decision to close the shop. Of course we are not without some sadness in saying farewell to the shop, but the decision is a sound one”.
Ms Bartlett says that despite the store closing, the Cancer Council will continue to provide sun-safe products from their online store.
“We will ensure that anyone who needs our help to get products will be assisted to do so. Cancer Council ACT is very conscious of its duty to use the money donated to us in ways best calculated to achieve our mission of reducing the incidence and impact of cancer in the ACT”.
The SunSmart Shop had small beginnings in 1992, as part of the Cancer Council’s office in Curtin, before upgrading to Westfield Belconnen in 1997 and then to Fairbairn in 2004.
The store will close at the end of October. The ACT Cancer Council has also announced that the store will hold a clearance sale until then, with 50 per cent off all in-store stock, including hats, swimwear, umbrellas, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Words: Andrew Nardi