ONLINE sales have long been blamed for creating competition with Orange's own retail businesses and figures show the number is mostly growing.
Orange City Council has been collating data from Spendmapp on the amounts being spent each month this year.
The reports showed the amount Orange residents spent online between January and March rose between $2 million and $3.5 million on the same time last year, up to 38 per cent.
April's spend was 26 per cent down on the previous year due to the timing of the Easter and Anzac break.
Although the overall retail spend has been steadily growing, Bobbies Clothing owner Melissa Gregory said retailers were noticing the impact of online purchases on their trade and she was not surprised to see some increases.
"I think there are businesses where you have to do it [go online]," she said.
"Our target market is 15-25-year-old consumers and that's where they're shopping, we have to put our brand where they are."
Bobbies will launch a clothing sales site in spring - Ms Gregory said the business had already integrated its stock systems to ensure the website did not sell out-of-stock items and the next task was photographing the stock to showcase it on the site.
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"We need the website to be engaging for them, and fresh and exciting so they shop with us," she said.
"It's going to be a lot of work, but it's also fun, it will be interesting to see where it takes us."
Residents make up about 63 per cent of the retail spend, with 37 per cent from visitors.
But while Ms Gregory believed the closure of Myer had led to fewer shoppers from outlying areas and a perception people could not buy what they needed locally, she said it was not the case.
"You can get everything, it's just a matter of looking and seeing that there are options," she said.
Spendmapp's figures showed spending in other regional cities was less popular, dropping by 15.8 per cent in the year to April.
The overall number of retail stores in Orange dropped by two between 2016 and 2018, or 0.9 per cent, compared to an average 9 per cent drop in other inland cities.
The number of retail vacancies in the CBD as of March was 24 for Orange, compared to 37 in Bathurst and 18 in Dubbo.
However, Orange's average rents were far higher, at $355 a square metre, compared to $306 in Bathurst and $247 in Dubbo.
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