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  • Tamara Sheward

    TropicNow writer

    Email Tamara Sheward

    Beloved boutique to shutter its doors


    Cairns fashionistas, grab your purses: Grafton Street’s iconic Shivamoon boutique is closing down after 14 years, and you’ve got only one week to nab a bargain.

    Owner Emma Meir announced the closure – and the sale – on the shop’s Facebook page yesterday, saying it was “time to move on to new adventures”.

    Pointing to further signs of a retail shakeup in the city, Shivamoon – a stalwart on the Grafton Street shopping scene since the early 2000s – will shut its doors for good on May 31.

    With an ever-changing collection of unusual and hard-to-find labels from Australian and overseas designers, Shivamoon has long been the go-to shop for locals seeking out something different.

    Grafton Street has been undergoing an indie-shop renaissance in recent months, with the addition of hip boutiques – including the Penlan Street Co and Refuge concept shops – joining longtime retail meccas including Tea Lily, Shine On Grafton, Viva and eclectic cheapie fave, St Vinnies, along the shopping strip.

    The global fascination with all things retro, handmade and offbeat has also led to a boom in trading at Grafton Street’s super-hip, old-school shopping arcade Oceana Walk.

    The arcade is home to an eminently browsable collection of shops, including Vintage Seeker, Kaotica, Earth Toys, Eggplant & Poppy and its latest addition, beloved local designer Vivienne Francine.

    INDIE OUTLETS ENTICE EXPENDITURE

    But Grafton Street isn’t the only CBD strip enjoying a revival thanks to independent shops.

    In a report on Cairns retailer confidence last month, TropicNow discovered local shop owners were “positively upbeat” about consumer spending, despite national figures showing a shopping slump.

    Fany Saumure of gift shop Makin’ Whoopie – which recently moved into new premises at Shields St – told TropicNow that trade was “picking up”, adding that it was essential for “little shops” to remain engaged with their community.

    CCIQ regional manager Amy Turnbull told TropicNow that the optimism of local retailers was backed up by regional data.

    “The retail sector in Cairns has experienced growth in employment indicating strong confidence in the market by local businesses,” Ms Turnbull said.

    “With expected small business tax cuts and introduction of more balanced penalty rates, there is no doubt that this will see a boost in business confidence, which will in turn result in local businesses hiring more staff and opening their doors for longer.”