Business on Broadway in dire straits

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 09:00 22/06/2013

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Palmerston North's Broadway Avenue could face yet another blow, with a store owner saying her shop faces an uncertain future without more support.

The Bad Cave comic and gaming shop moved from King St, where it was branded Heroes For Sale, to Broadway Ave at the end of 2011.

But 18 months later the owners have put out an SOS to people who use the store, saying it is in danger of closing if people do not support it.

The Bad Cave's situation adds to the on-going troubles in the struggling street, with multiple businesses having either moved away, closed down or announced they are to shut in the past year.

Co-owner and manager Silver Dunlop said the business had struggled this year, at one point being on the brink of voluntarily liquidation.

"My sister and I own this place, and we went through a list of options of all we knew was possible.

"We worked through them until we thought we had run out of options."

To help cut costs, the business was moving all its stock upstairs, where it would do the bulk of its trading.

VIP memberships would be sold and the downstairs space better utilised to help maximise cashflow, Mrs Dunlop said.

"It will make everything more compact and consolidated."

Mrs Dunlop said she knew she was taking a risk by telling people the business was in trouble, but it needed to be done.

"At this point we have nothing left to lose, so why not turn to the community for help?"

Retailers often had an issue with letting people know they were struggling, she said.

"Retail as a whole is in trouble here, and as a shop owner you often keep quiet and work away in the background.

"There is a culture of ‘smile, everything is OK'. I'm sure there is a lot of people in the same place as us."

Letting people know the state of the business had caused issues with suppliers, with many now working on a cash-only basis.

Mrs Dunlop said she had no idea how long the store could stay open if things did not pick up.

"In a lot of respects, we should have closed quite a number of times before.

"It makes it hard for the community here, because the customers and regulars and gamers have no idea what's going on.

"Hopefully enough are confident that we can do this."

She had no regrets about moving from King St to Broadway.

"The goal is to get [the business model] working again, and dammit we're going to try.

"There is still a fantastic community here, and I have a strong belief in the mission behind the things we sell."

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- Manawatu Standard

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