The longest-running $2 shop in Dunedin is closing next week.
Mosgiel $2 & More co-owner Phil Tate said his variety shop in Gordon Rd would close for good next Saturday, ending a nearly 40-year history of trading in the town.
“This is the longest-running $2 shop in Dunedin – easily.”
The shop traded in different locations and under different names in Mosgiel.
He bought Bargain Bin with business partner Dave Ellis as a going concern in 1989.
Bargain Bin had already been trading for nearly a decade, he said.
He sold the shop to his late mother, Pat, in 1990 and it was renamed Pat’s Presents.
In 2001, his former wife Michelle Tate (now Williamson) bought into the business with his mother and the business name was changed to Mosgiel $2 & Gifts.
The pair owned the shop for about five years before it was sold back to Mr Tate.
In 2012, his then partner Kristine, now his wife, bought the shop from him but it went into joint ownership when they got married in 2017 and the name changed to Mosgiel $2 & More.
Business was once good, and products such as spinning top toys, Beyblades and trading card games Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! were hot sellers.
“But the last 18 months hasn’t been great.”
Business had got “harder” as more customers bought goods from online retailers based overseas.
People often visited his store to find a product, to buy it online elsewhere.
“It kills the shops.”
Profit margins were tight for variety shops and new legislation such as raising the minimum wage made it harder to make ends meet.
More businesses would close and unemployment would rise as the minimum wage was increased to $20, Mr Tate said.
He employed two people in the Mosgiel shop and one of them will start working in his other shop – $2 & More in Great King St in central Dunedin.
The central Dunedin shop was being hit with the same problems and would close after more stock had been liquidated.
He had some interest from a party wanting to buy his Mosgiel shop as a going concern but nothing eventuated, he said.
Selling the business was no longer an option because a new lease had been signed for a new business to enter the shop.
He would not reveal who was behind the new business was but hinted it would sell food.
Closing the doors for the last time would be emotional, especially as his mother died unexpectedly from health complications in November last year.
“It’ll be really sad because it’s been around a long time.”