Op-shop forced to ‘pull the pin’

An op-shop which has been a part of South Dunedin’s community for 10 years will close its doors for good.

The decision to "pull the pin’’ on the Orphan Aid store’s lease, in King Edward St, was made a few weeks ago after the building was identified as being earthquake prone.

Chief executive Sue van Schreven said it was not an easy call but safety had to come first.

"It had become a part of the community and that was the biggest thing we have struggled with,’’ Mrs van Schreven said.

"But we were not happy to keep our customers and staff there. It was too risky ... We would not forgive ourselves.’’

Dunedin City Council building solutions manager Paul Henderson said it began identifying earthquake-prone buildings and notifying owners and tenants in April.

"An earthquake-prone building is different to a dangerous building,’’ Mr Henderson said.

"If we consider a building to be dangerous ... we would take immediate action.’’

The op-shop had been at the location for six years and before that was in Hillside Rd for four years.

The store had helped the community for 10 years, including providing support to local refugee families, Mrs van Schreven said.

It was one of Orphan Aid’s busiest stores and had about 40 volunteers, who were given the option to move to its North Dunedin store.

But some volunteers had relied on being able to walk to the shop for their shift.

"That is one of the saddest parts ... For a lot of volunteers, South Dunedin is their home.’’

Mrs van Schreven said it was encouraging to see many volunteers had wanted to move to its northern store.

A sale started this week in an attempt to shift the remaining stock, and it would be "bargains galore’’ until its closure on Wednesday.

“It is going to be a sad day — I am not looking forward to closing those doors ...

"We will miss it and the friendly community."

Mrs van Schreven said South Dunedin had not been ruled out for a future store.

"We have an open mind ... Watch this space.’’

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