GOING straight to the source for ideas on improving the vibrancy of Orange's central business district was the thinking behind Thursday morning's retail forum.
Set up by Orange City Council with its FutureCity strategy in mind, the forum attracted about 24 members of Orange's retail and business community.
Council has engaged Sydney firm RetailOasis with Trent Rigby and Stephen Kulmar hosting the forum, the outcomes of which will help guide council's formation of a retailer-based strategy heading into the next council term.
Part of RetailOasis presentation included identifying who the future Orange consumer is and recognising the city's strengths and weakness, opportunities and threats.
Business Orange president Jack Evans described the forum as "a good piece in the puzzle in terms of what's going to happen in the CBD".
"It encourages our local business owners to think about the part they play in our CBD," he said.
Cint boutique's Sarah Waddell said one of the things she found interesting about the forum was discussion about smaller shopping precincts within the CBD.
"I think in a place like Orange where your shopping area is so spread out, retailers need to be focussed on setting up a precinct where you complement each other, not compete with each other," she said
Ms Waddell moved her business from Young and said she deliberately avoided to the main street when looking for shopfront, to create a more niche-boutique feel for her customers, a feel enhance by her Sale Street business neighbours.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said council is looking for ways to "jazz up the CBD".
"Make it [the CBD] more user friendly, get people in there, get people catching up with friends, people want wifi ... because it's getting a bit old and drab."
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