CLOSING DOWN: Graham Abbott, who first set up Graham’s Trading 40 years ago, is closing up shop. The store, based on Bridge St, will close within the next month after a closing down sale. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Graham calls time on trading

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When Graham Abbott first started his store selling second-hand furniture, Edwardian antiques were all the rage.

“We would get them off the truck and people would pretty much buy them straight off the footpath,” he says.

That was almost 40 years ago. He set it up because he wanted to go into business by himself and was looking for a way to do that without costing him a fortune.

Furniture, he thought. Everybody needs furniture.

Graham and his brother set about becoming the one-stop shop for renters and new home buyers, intent on decking out their properties with decor.

But times have changed since then. In 1993, the store which used to be on Hardy St, moved down the road to Bridge St.

Then came the internet and TradeMe.

“People like to try things out and find out what the value is.

“But now people will come in and see what something is worth and then try sell it themselves,” says Graham.

“It’s just one of those things.”

So, Graham and his brother have decided to call time on it.

“We are tired of lifting things,” he says. “It’s a hard job.”

When times were busier, he had a staff who could help lift the furniture. Now it was just them and their wives.

“We decided it’s time for a change.”

They sold the building and their lease is soon up.

He says it’s been an all-encompassing job but he will miss it.

“A lot of customers become your friends and you deal with them and try your best for them.”

The shop has a closing down sale for the next two weeks before they shut up shop for good.