”CHANGE is important,” Just Incredible co-owner David Ellis says as he prepares to close his Invercargill store next Tuesday.
The retailer is the third business in the Invercargill inner city block earmarked for a proposed multi-million dollar retail development to close in the past three months.
Lusty’s Showcase Jeweller shut up shop late last year, and The Lollie Shop closed last month.
Mr Ellis said they had wanted to continue to operate in Invercargill, as the Tay St store had been trading well, but had been unable to find a suitable alternative site.
“If we could have found another site, we would have relocated.
“We need to be around other traders.
“It doesn’t work for us to be a stand-alone store.”
Five staff will lose their jobs as a result of the closure, one full-time staff member and four who job shared.
Mr Ellis said all but one staff member had worked for Just Incredible for more than 10 years.
“Our customers have been very loyal. They have been reaching out to the staff [since they heard about the closure], which has been humbling really.”
Mr Ellis was accepting and matter of fact about the situation.
Change was inevitable and something he was used to managing, he said.
There would be some displacement of businesses as a result of the development, but the development was needed and would be good for the city, he said.
“What is there now is not great and it is going to get worse.
“I don’t live here, but I recognise [if I did] I wouldn’t want it to continue to be like it is.”
He and his wife Joanne own Just Incredible, which had been in its current location on Tay St for about 11 years.
The couple, originally from Mosgiel, now lived in Christchurch.
They started their business in the mid-1980s by opening pop-up discount stores throughout the South Island, including Invercargill.
“I have always had a close affinity to Invercargill. I have always opened stores here.”