Renee Cluff

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Holy sheet. Cairns is losing another local boutique store


The owner of a Smithfield boutique will close this month because trade isn’t keeping up with climbing overheads.

Jennifer Johansen has been operating Holy Sheet for 13 years at Smithfield Shopping Centre.



She told Tropic Now the homewares store managed to survive the global financial crisis, but it’s been a struggle ever since.

“We did recover, but then you’re rent goes up,” she said.

“I haven’t got anything bad to say about the shopping centre, they’ve tried to help.

“Costs are just outweighing what’s coming into the till.

“It has been tough the last couple of years.

“We’re not in the worst situation, there are many worse off but you work your guts out and it’s fine when there’s a reward but it’s just been hard.”

Ms Johansen said while the store has many loyal customers, sales just haven’t been strong enough as the shop competes with a growing number of online retailers.

“The thing is Holy Sheet has been a point of difference and local but we wouldn’t have been here as long as we had if locals hadn’t supported us,” she said.

“All the customers have become friends, it’s such a local base here with fantastic people and I always thank them for their support.

“We’ve got to keep doing it, we’ve got to look after ourselves, all our local businesses in Cairns and I will certainly keep doing it.”

The store will close either when discounted stock runs out or at the end of the month.