Lusty’s closing its doors

Lusty's Showcase Jeweller owners Brian and Margaret Lusty in their Esk St store this week.

SOME of the shine is going out of Esk St with Southland owned-and-operated business Lusty’s Showcase Jeweller set to close.

Owners Brian and Margaret Lusty will close the jewellery store on December 31. The business has been in their family for more than 70 years.

Lusty’s Jewellers Winton shop in the late 1950s

“It definitely wasn’t a decision made lightly, but it is time Brian and I retired,” Mrs Lusty said.

“I am just sad for the [staff].”

At present they employ five staff, including store manager Tania Hill who has worked at Lusty’s for 30 years.

Mr Lusty said it was sad to be closing the family business.

“I’m not extremely happy about closing, but there are not really any other options.”

Mrs Lusty said HWCP Management Ltd’s plans to redevelop the inner city block where their store was located was the catalyst for their decision to retire.

The costs associated with relocating would be significant, and the next two years while construction of the development was under way would be difficult for businesses in Invercargill, she said.

“I haven’t got another 20 years to recoup that money,” she said.

“This development is fantastic for the town, but the timing hasn’t been fantastic for us.

“I would have loved to have been part of it. It would have been very exciting.”

Brian’s father Ivor Reginald Lusty started a watch and clock repair business from his home in Winton in 1945, moving to a store on Winton’s main street in the late 1950s.

Brian left school at 15 to work in his father’s store, and he and his wife went on to open a boutique jewellery store in Kelvin St, Invercargill, in 1978.

The Winton store was closed and the Kelvin St jewellery store moved to its present site in Esk St in 1987.

Mrs Lusty said the highlight of their time in the business was working with the staff and customers.

“I will miss the people. The people contact is definitely what I will miss.

“We have had some wonderful experiences.”

She would also miss the business at Christmas-time, she said.

“It is a crazy, fun time. It has got a real buzz about it in retail.”

The couple intended to spend their retirement travelling around New Zealand in their motorhome and travelling overseas, Mrs Lusty said.

“It’s all about the travel.”

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