'Gutted' over store closure; Covid blamed

Toffs staff members (from left) Rehana Rutherford, Lisa George, Kathy Lister and Rose Fisk will...
Toffs staff members (from left) Rehana Rutherford, Lisa George, Kathy Lister and Rose Fisk will be made redundant when the store closes on November 24. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Customers are threatening to start a petition calling for a popular Dunedin second-hand clothing store to remain open after its owner announced it will close.

Toffs has been operating in Princes St for nearly a decade, but its staff were handed redundancy letters recently, telling them the store would be closed on November 24.

Store manager Rose Fisk said she and four fellow staff members were devastated to hear the store was closing.

She said the Christchurch-based owner told staff the closure was Covid-related and was also caused by the increasing cost of rent on the Princes St premises.

‘‘It’s nothing to do with not enough clientele.

‘‘We had the busiest store in Dunedin, as you can tell with how the news has blown up on social media.’’

Customers had been just as devastated about the closure as the staff, and while it had brought some customers to tears, others had threatened to set up a petition to halt the closure, she said.

‘‘I’m gutted. I’ve been here nine years.

‘‘I’ll miss the customers most. I’ve made lifelong friends with them.

‘‘We actually have a funny little thing called The Toffettes, which is a whole group of ladies that come in all the time. They’re real characters.’’

Regular customer Gracian Kern, of Dunedin, said he loved shopping in the store.

‘‘It’s a very affordable rate of clothing.

‘‘Obviously, as everyone knows, the clothing industry is very wasteful. There definitely needs to be a place like this, so clothing can be reused.

‘‘It shows others agree because they’re always busy.

‘‘It’s sad it’s going. I’ll miss the great staff.’’

Owner Tina van der Geest, of Christchurch, could not be contacted for comment.

Over the next week and a-half, the shop would be holding a clearing sale and all clothing will be half price, Mrs Fisk said.

‘‘Come in and get as much as you can.’’




Absentee owners do this all the time. When you take a look at company records and lifestyle, things are going well. Nothing to do with Covid, more to do with profit.

As it should be. Presumably you wouldn't like to be told you have to keep doing a job you don't think's paying you enough. The same applies to business owners - if this shop were making enough money to cover the capital tied up in it, then it wouldn't be closing. But it is, so it obviously isn't.



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