Woopi Doo goes west to prosper

Jacinta Ray has opened another Woopi Doo Variety Discounts store, this time in Gunnedah.
Jacinta Ray has opened another Woopi Doo Variety Discounts store, this time in Gunnedah. SUBMITTED

WOOLGOOGA-based retailer Woopi Doo Variety Discounts has opened a new store in Gunnedah.

It will be the company’s fourth retail outlet in as many years, with shops already established in Woolgoolga, Urunga and Tamworth.

Managing director Jacinta Ray said the success of the company’s Tamworth store, which opened in November 2009, had prompted her to consider other significant towns in the western districts.

“Gunnedah was an obvious choice. The town is enjoying an economic resurgence as primary industry enjoys consistent good seasons and the coal industry is set for major development and expansion,” Mrs Ray said.

Gunnedah, which has a popu- lation of more than 12,000 people, has some of the richest coal deposits in NSW.

Mrs Ray said that in the past four years she had been able to expand the Woopi Doo network while progressively fine-tuning the company’s overall business model.

“Of course there are still improvements to be made and always will be. However, we are pleased with our brand awareness, market positioning and growing profitability.

“It took some time to master the finances involved in managing a number of variety discount stores as our business philosophy ignored the accepted models for this type of business.

“Where conventional modelling suggested success was all about minimal service and maximum turnover we were determined to make service our primary focus.

“That meant, among other things, higher than normal staff costs. However, I think we have now proven the point that good service is always good business.”

Mrs Ray said she was optimistic about the future.

“Now Gunnedah is up and running, we will consider how best to undertake the next phase of our expansion.

"Because we have an established and successful business model, one possibility could be to franchise.

“However, all options for future growth and development will be considered in detail later in the year.

"Right now we are focused on making Gunnedah another Woopi Doo success.”

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