Southland photo business closes

    Donald Buckley Photo and Frame shop in Invercargill closed on Friday after more than 40 years.

    A WELL-KNOWN Southland business has printed its last photograph.

    Donald Buckley Photo and Frame Ltd was placed into liquidation late last month and closed its doors for the final time on Friday.

    The business had operated in Southland for more than 40 years, doing photographic retail, restoration, printing and framing, with stores in Invercargill and Gore.

    Owner Nigel Cuckow bought the business from Donald Buckley’s daughter Joanne and her husband Graham Hall, in 2017.

    When contacted on Friday, Mr Cuckow declined to comment but said there were a lot of “nasty, nasty people out there” who did not know the “full facts”.

    He wanted to put it behind him and focus on his own health, he said.

    The first liquidator’s report, released on the Companies Office website, said Mr Cuckow told the liquidators he had little business experience before the purchase and found it challenging to manage the operation in two locations.

    Significant equipment upgrades which were considered essential had been undertaken but that expense stretched the company’s finances, the report said.

    An early look at the company records indicated the cost structure of the business had been strained with rent and wages taking up a disproportionate percentage of the turnover.

    That problem, along with Covid-19 restrictions and Mr Cuckow’s recent health issues, had aggravated a worsening situation, the liquidators said.

    The shop’s assets consisted of limited stock and extensive plant at both sites but some of the stock items had outdated due to significant technology advances.

    The report estimated the company’s total liabilities were just under $500,000, and the assets were still to be worked out.