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Ararat’s position as a major regional service centre has ensured steady growth in its retail sector over the past decade.

Today, its eclectic mix of large, national retailers and smaller boutique-style businesses collectively employs close to 700 people.

Turning over more than $67 million annually, the retail sector lays claim to a seven per cent share of Ararat Rural City Council’s industrial turnover.

Major retailers which have chosen to invest in Ararat include a full-line Safeway, Country Target, Foodworks, Sam's Warehouse, Dimmeys, Retravision, McDonalds, KFC, Mitre 10 and Aldi. These large nationals sit alongside a host of smaller boutiques and speciality stores.