New 24/7 shop a sign of late trading push

BUSINESS COUNCIL: Hopes opening hour changes could influence penalty rate review

A NEW 24 hour convenience store has opened in central Bendigo.

The business, 24 Seven Central, began trading on Saturday after an investment of almost $300,000.

Mark Coffey, who co-owns the store with Lucas Flinn, said he planned to take the brand nation-wide.

“I always thought Bendigo could do with a 24 hour shop in the CBD,” he said.

“If you go to Melbourne, you walk out the front of a 7-Eleven and you can see other 7-Elevens within 50 metres in either direction.

“We actually enquired about opening a 7-Eleven store but they said they didn’t do regional areas, so we opened up our own brand.”

Staff safety is an important part of the business, Mr Coffey said.

There have been several recent incidents at the Williamson Street 24 Hour General Store.

Brandon Townsend was jailed earlier this month after attempting to rob the store with a knife last year.

A man in a balaclava attempted to rob the store with a cap gun last month, and police have also investigated an alleged armed robbery at the store in December.

Nando’s in High Street has also allegedly been targeted.

“Staff well-being is always a concern,” Mr Coffey said.

“One thing is we never have any cash here, the till gets emptied very regularly and people often pay on card these days.”

The store is also fitted with four CCTV cameras and is monitored by a police camera, and Mr Coffey hopes to have a distress button installed.

He believes the new business could pave the way for more late night trading in Bendigo.

“It will be good for the other shops in the area, it creates a bit of a hub there,” he said.

“It has been a considerable investment. There are always risks in business but I’m pretty confident.” 

The owners spent about three months starting up the company, which is located opposite Alexandra Fountain. 

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