Fi­nal chap­ter for Porirua book­shop

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON MCCON­NELL

Af­ter 40 years of busi­ness the book is clos­ing for a pop­u­lar Porirua store.

Next month will be the Bee­hive Book Ex­change’s last chap­ter, af­ter busi­ness has slowed in the past year.

Owner Phil Neal bought the shop two and a half years ago as a way to move into re­tire­ment.

He said that in the first year he made a good profit, but af­ter the PostShop closed last year things changed.

‘‘The turn­ing point was when the post of­fice moved away. It’s stripped the area of any form of foot traf­fic,’’ he said.

‘‘We are just not get­ting that any more, so it has re­ally put us into hard times.

‘‘ In the past three or four months it’s re­ally de­clined. It’s been a hard de­ci­sion to make. This shop is a bit of a Porirua icon.’’

Neal said groups of young people in­tim­i­dat­ing passers-by un­der the Canopies had driven cus­tomers away.

To add to the stress, there was a de­mo­li­tion clause in his con­tract that meant the store would even­tu­ally be knocked down as part of the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the area.

He said that though Porirua City Coun­cil had been good land­lords, the clause had been like a sword swing­ing above his head.

Neal, who works two jobs to cover bills, said he had tried to sell the store, but the profit mar­gin was too small to gain any real in­ter­est.

‘‘We’ve still got our fin­gers crossed that some­one might still come along.’’

Now be­gins the process of sell­ing and mov­ing more than 11,000 books be­fore the shop closes on June 29. He said what­ever was left af­ter the sale would be given to char­ity.

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