EMPTY TILLS

Pop­u­lar Parap pizza shop closes amid tough eco­nomic con­di­tions

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - NATASHA EMECK

DAR­WIN food­ies are dev­as­tated to learn about the clo­sures of a combo of pop­u­lar take­away hot spots.

Busi­ness dreams were shat­tered for 23-year-old fran­chisee Sally Illing­worth this week af­ter she made the “heart­break­ing” de­ci­sion to close the Crust pizza store in Parap af­ter open­ing four years ago.

“We don’t want to wave the white flag yet but given the state of the NT econ­omy, we don’t have many other choices at this stage,” she said. “This Christ­mas, we saw our worst per­for­mance ever, sales were down 20 per cent and we just can’t af­ford to keep run­ning at a loss.

“We’re call­ing it a tem­po­rary clo­sure at this stage while we look into our op­tions and toss up hand­ing the busi­ness over and a per­ma­nent clo­sure, if we can’t se­cure any in­vest­ments by the end of the week.”

An­other pop­u­lar Dar­win take­away chain Happy Hearts have also closed up their shop lo­ca­tions in the Coolalinga and Gal­le­ria shop­ping cen­tres.

The fam­ily-run busi­ness was known for be­ing home to one of the big­gest burg­ers in Aus­trala­sia, the 5kg Su­per Supreme Burger.

Own­ers Fe Ba­cayo and Carl Sor­ren­son said the de­cline of the Ter­ri­tory econ­omy hit them ex­tremely hard.

“We loved our busi­ness and our cus­tomers were awe­some but we could not con­tinue due to high costs and lower in­come,” Mr Sor­ren­son said.

“It’s re­ally sad­dened our hearts to have this de­ci­sion but we have no choice.”

Act­ing Cham­ber of Com­merce NT chief ex­ec­u­tive Brian O’Gal­lagher said the take­away clo­sures showed con­sumers were “tight­en­ing their belts” in the face of un­cer­tain eco­nomic times.

“Money is tight so peo­ple are rein­ing in spend­ing on things that aren’t es­sen­tial pur­chases,” he said.

“But we’re still con­cerned that the Gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic sec­tor aren’t do­ing any rein­ing in of their own when it comes to spend­ing.”

Dar­win on­line gam­ing cen­tre, Next Tier Es­ports also closed in­def­i­nitely over the week­end.

Owner David Moore said the Win­nel­lie busi­ness had been strug­gling to make ends meet for a while and de­cided to not re­new their lease.

“It’s fair to say that the gam­ing com­mu­nity in Dar­win is dev­as­tated by this clo­sure,” he said.

“We’ve been run­ning since 2015 and now there’s nowhere to go now to play and meet with other gamers.”

Pic­ture: KERI MEGELUS

Crust fran­chisee Sally Illing­worth has tem­po­rar­ily closed her Parap store amid dif­fi­cult trad­ing con­di­tions in Dar­win

Pic­ture: KERI MEGELUS

Fran­chisee Sally Illing­worth has made the heart­break­ing de­ci­sion to close her Crust pizza store in Parap

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