To the editor:
Re: "Lack of customers, high rents force Hobbs to close," Dec. 7.
I sympathize with Thomas Hobbs but the reasons he gives for having to close his business are not new to me and other former business owners. I owned and operated a retail business from 1980 to 1991. High rents and property taxes, competition from Oakridge, theft and finally the GST were problems that I encountered. Customers preferred to buy sale items from Woodwards and they complained if the prices for the children's clothing in my store were higher. They were not interested in high end, imported clothing. They simply wanted bargains.
Now, 21 years later I choose to pay $25 for a name brand clothing item at Winners rather than $80 for the same item at a local store. I can also buy a bar of Italian soap at Winners for $6 instead of $12 or $14 at the local boutique. Most people I know are very familiar with prices and don't like to pay twice the amount if they don't have to. It's not that we "don't want to buy beautiful dishes, or candles or nice soap." Winners and Home Sense (not only located in Richmond) have become very popular because of their competitive prices, fast turnover and creative display.
I enjoyed shopping at the Hobbs gift shop when I visited Kerrisdale and am sorry that it will close.
Joan Ellis, Vancouver