The following is a copy of a transcript from InDaily reecntly by Melissa Mack.
DITTERS Nuts has left Gawler Place after 57 years for a “better opportunity” in an inner south shopping centre.
The CBD store’s owner of 19 years, Clark Ditter, said he took the opportunity to take-over the Unley Shopping Centre shop.
“As I was thinking about moving to a different spot anyway from Gawler Place, the owners of Ditters Nuts franchise suggested I might like to take over this spot because they were going to sell or close it anyway,” Ditter said.
“Whereas once we had the same sales, the Unley store sales are better than the city shop. It’s also got lower labour costs and is a smaller space.
“All those things together meant it was a better prospect for me to move here financially and that’s why I’ve done it.”
Ditter, who is part of the original family which sold the company in 1985, said the city store sales had been declining for the past three years.
“As to why I honestly can’t say, there may be a general trend of people shopping more in the suburbs than they used to years ago.”
The closure of Ditters marks a deeper change to the face of Rundle Mall as it prepares to undergo redevelopment and attempts to attract more major international chain stores.
As part of the change coffee shops at either end of the mall, Briccones and Busker’s Café, will close this month in line with the design for clear centre of the mall.
“I think it looks good in the long term, I think there’ll be some disruption next year and I think they’ve got to make some improvements, but whether that will make a difference it is hard to say,” Ditter said.
He said after 34 years in its last Gawler Place location, at lot of things had changed. The store had moved in 1978 from a nearby location also in Gawler Place.
“Going back to 1978 a lot more people shopped in the city anyway.
“When I first took over in 1993, David Jones was opposite us in the building that is now Rundle Mall Plaza and when you took away DJs from where we were, it changed the traffic.
“All those people that didn’t mind paying a bit more for quality and they would have come out of the basement floor where the food hall was they moved up the mall and we lost that.”
Despite all the changes, it will be the customers that Ditter will miss most from the city.
“We’ve had lots of customers we knew that were regular either once every year or every few months, week, or every day and a lot were my friends so I’m going to miss a lot of those.
“Some will find their way to this shop, some already have.”