MORISSET Mega Market will close next month after 12 years in business.
The Roche Group-owned market has been a feature of the south Lake Macquarie business community at its Morisset industrial estate site.
At its peak, the weekend markets had about 110 stalls, but that has fallen to between 80 and 90.
Market manager John Mills said online shopping, cheap goods at department stores and reduced consumer spending were reasons for the closure.
‘‘People are buying goods through the internet now,’’ Mr Mills said.
Department stores such as Kmart had hurt the markets.
‘‘They have factories in China and can sell goods cheaper than ever,’’ he said.
‘‘Markets used to be cheaper than department stores, but now it’s hard to compete.’’
He said retail had changed.
‘‘People are not spending what they used to because of the high cost of utilities and so forth,’’ he said.
‘‘People are not travelling here from Newcastle and Central Coast like they used to because of the cost of petrol and they don’t have the money. Markets like ours are slowly dying out.’’
Mr Mills said the markets had been ‘‘winding down for some years’’.
Stall-holder Dianne Simpson, of Di’s Sunnies, said it was a ‘‘great shame’’.
‘‘It’s a sign of the times, the economy and perhaps because of shopping centres opening nearby [Coles and Woolworths] that weren’t here when the markets started,’’ Mrs Simpson said.
Morisset resident Juney Gordon said residents were disappointed.
‘‘The markets supply things you can’t get at the shops,’’ Mrs Gordon said.
Young people who worked at the markets would lose their jobs, she said. Market accounts supervisor Jan Gorick said she and Mr Mills would lose their jobs, plus a handful of market employees.
But Ms Gorick said many markets would move their stalls elsewhere, to Ettalong and Parklea.
Some stall-holders could move to Tuggerah Supa Centa.
Morisset markets will close on December 16, with a closing-down sale to be held over three weekends.