Retail changes spell the end for Dunedin shop

Cheapskates Dunedin co-owner Mark Browne (left) and manager Chris Stephenson pack up stock from the closed skate shop yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Cheapskates Dunedin co-owner Mark Browne (left) and manager Chris Stephenson pack up stock from the closed skate shop yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Rising rents and falling sales have closed a Dunedin skate shop after 20 years of business.

Cheapskates Dunedin co-owner Mark Browne, of Christchurch, said the George St shop's lease expired tomorrow and it made little economic sense to sign another lease agreement.

''The rent kept going up and the sales kept going down.''

Mr Browne remained philosophical when clearing stock with staff yesterday.

''It's the nature of the beast - it's evolution - but we've had some good years here and had some great people and great skate teams - some skate legends - come through.''

The shop employed one full-time and three part-time staff and sponsored 10 skaters.

Mr Browne opened the shop in Dunedin 20 years ago and it had operated in many locations, including Princes St, Stuart St and George St.

Mr Browne said he owned another Cheapskates shop in Christchurch and the business was surviving.

''But it's not giving us the income like it used to.''

The remaining Dunedin stock would be sold in Christchurch, he said.

Although a Christchurch skate shop had fewer competitors than one in Dunedin, more people were buying skate gear from internet retailers.

Manager Chris Stephenson said people were getting more ''savvy'' on ways to buy cheaper skate gear online.

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