A Sydney shop owner has lashed out at “society” in a brutal note after the “heartbreaking” collapse of her small business.
Last week, a letter was posted on the front door of The Source Bulk Foods in leafy Crows Nest on the north side of town, informing customers that it had closed.
Source Bulk Foods is a popular chain owned by individual franchisees that sells healthy foods in bulk with a focus on zero waste, and the owner of the Crows Nest store, identified only as Nikki, had run her store for six years before she came on board. on sale. .
In the letter, he explained that the business had been affected by the rising cost of living, which meant it was caught “between a rock and a hard place”.
But he also cited customers’ preference for convenience and “instant gratification” as another factor in business failure.
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“By now you may have wondered why our doors are closed… It was with the greatest regret that I had to put the business into liquidation,” the business owner wrote.
“It has been a very difficult time made even more difficult by our connection with you, our loyal customers, even friends, who have darkened our door and lightened our smiles for six years, some of you from our days in the store. of Willoughby.
“Small local businesses like ours, where regulars can come in to chat and smile, get a hug when they’re feeling low, share laughter and life, exchange news, opinions, recipes, and even gifts, where someone knows their name… form a invaluable network in our local communities.
“These types of establishments become part of people’s lives and give them a sense of belonging within the community.
“They teach our children basic commerce and basic manners… They are just there and that is a comfort, especially in these times of a lot of loneliness, depression and anxiety in our society.”
But the owner claimed that modern society has changed for the worse, with modern customers turning their backs on old-fashioned “authenticity.”
“What I see, heartbreakingly, is that our society has inadvertently, bit by bit, chosen convenience and instant gratification over the effort it takes to interact with the authenticity of real people, your community of neighbors, your touchstone,” the note continued. , before thanking loyal customers who were the “last of a dying breed.”
Owner Nikki and employees Esther, Kira and Chelsea wrote that they appreciated “the friendly smiles and jokes that are shared with customers.”
“You have been our community. Our purpose. Our validation. You have been the best thing about running a small business,” the note read.
“Thank you for supporting us, for taking care of us, for loving us.”
The owner encouraged customers to reach out and mentioned the importance of supporting local small businesses.
Sadly, the collapse of The Source Bulk Foods Crows Nest store is just the tip of the iceberg, as Australia recorded a staggering 3,917 liquidations or management appointments across all industries during the 2021-22 fiscal year.
There were 1,536 collapses in New South Wales, with Victoria recording 1,022, Queensland 665, Western Australia 350, South Australia 196, ACT 91, Tasmania 29 and the Northern Territory 28.
Speaking to news.com.au about the alarming trend earlier this year, retail analyst Geoff Dart of DGC Advisory said that as the Australian economy has been hit by falling consumer confidence, rising interest rates and cost of living pressures, more retailers would fall. .
“I think fringe players and transient brands that don’t have that established name … could be in trouble,” Dart said.
“In tough times, people tend to look for security and established brands, and also retailers with a good omnichannel setup that can also deliver online.
“If you look at household income, spending is still well above income, and interest rate hikes are only going to make things worse along with wage compression: we are not seeing a real increase in wages and people tend to save their savings for a rainy day. . In my opinion, people are reluctant to spend in difficult times.”