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Labour MP Dr Liz Craig (left), Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt and Invercargill City Council (ICC) city centre co-ordinator Kari Graber sign a petition aimed at preventing Invercargill's T&T Childrenswear on Kelvin St from closing at the end of next month.  Photo: Supplied

FIRST it was Pumpkin Patch and JK Kids, and now another children’s clothing store in Invercargill is set to close next month – but the staff and customers are fighting back.

“I want to fight for my store, fight for my staff and their jobs and my customers,” Invercargill T&T store manager Dana Parker said.

A petition aimed at keeping the store open had been set up. In the two weeks since it was started, staff had collected about 600 signatures.

Ms Parker said it was her customers who suggested setting up the petition, and some had furthered the cause on their Facebook pages and contacted head office directly.

“The customers were absolutely devastated and wanted to help,” she said.

“I am absolutely amazed by how much support we are getting. Everybody has gotten behind us, which is awesome.”

Labour MP Dr Liz Craig and Invercargill City Council city centre co-ordinator Kari Graber were among those who had signed the petition.

“I was saddened to hear our local T&T may be closing,” Ms Craig said, “but also heartened to hear that within just a few days, several hundred people have signed the petition, asking T&T to keep our local store open.

“Ensuring local families have a variety of options to choose from is also crucial for a vibrant central city.”

Ms Graber said it was always disappointing to lose a national retailer from a city centre.

“Invercargill will experience a serious loss if T&T close its doors.

“The closure would mean the loss of jobs, variety of choice for consumers and another retail space to be filled.”

The Southland Express contacted T&T head office for comment, but had not received a response at the time of print.

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