City store shuts up shop
The owners of a Nelson store for lovers of hiking and tramping are striking camp and heading for the outdoors themselves, due to a drop in trading.
Trafalgar St store Basecamp will close at the end of October, with owners Hec and Gillian Arbuthnott retiring from the store, which they have run for a decade.
They had put the shop on the market about six months ago, but had been unable to secure a buyer. Mr Arbuthnott said they had decided to retire from running the store.
"We have decided that we want to spend more time having free time."
The shop has been open since 1994, and has had two previous owners. It is understood a replacement tenant has been found.
Mr Arbuthnott said they made the decision at the start of this year, after four years of tough retail conditions.
Visitor numbers had been down since 2009, and the visitors that were arriving were spending two-thirds as much money due to poor exchange rates.
"They are spending less, I'm sure that's got an impact throught the whole of New Zealand, Nelson in particular."
The conditions were harder for small, independent retailers, who struggled to compete against "vertically integrated companies with marketing dollars", he said.
Also challenging was the tendency for shoppers to make most of their purchases online, often after making use of their expertise.
"We have people come and ask us to write down what size, brand and colour, and then they do a search [online]."
Local and national brands were popular, particularly Icebreaker, he said.
They had bought the business because it was an opportunity to get involved in something they enjoyed doing, and while they were closing the doors of the business, they would not be leaving the region.
"We haven't got any plans for what we're going to be doing apart from spending time hiking and tramping with the family."
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