Retailers Begin To Reopen With Caution As Coronavirus Restrictions Ease
Retailers Begin To Reopen With Caution As Coronavirus Restrictions Ease

Back story to the sad closure of 115yo Gympie business

THE liquidator for Gympie’s Friendly Grocer has revealed the popular corner store on Duke Street was the victim of financial collateral damage, and breaking even at the time it shut its doors.

Worrells’ Paul Nogueira told News Corp the store, which had been open for more than a century under the Heilbronn’s name, was ultimately taken down by its new owners’ struggling Sunshine Coast business.

Liquidator Paul Nogueira says the shop was breaking even when it closed.
Liquidator Paul Nogueira says the shop was breaking even when it closed.

The grocery’s owners, Abid Australia, also ran the Birtinya Foodworks on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Nogueira revealed the company owed more than $600,000; almost three quarters of this was owed to Abid’s director.

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“From what we’ve seen the Birtinya site struggled with profitability ever since it opened its doors,” Mr Nogueira said.

“That could be an issue of site choice, with competition coming from the newly opened Aldi and other supermarket complexes nearby.”

The collapse of the company’s Foodworks at Birtinya was what caused the shut down.
The collapse of the company’s Foodworks at Birtinya was what caused the shut down.

Despite the Gympie shop’s break-even status, Mr Nogueira said Worrells’ assessment indicated it was not profitable.

“We won’t be recommencing operations at either site,” he said.

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“COVID has been a challenge for every business but it’s probably obvious this business had a lot of legacy debt issues way before COVID.”

Abid Australia moved into liquidation last week.

They took over the shop in 2016, the latest to take the reins of the business which had been running at Duke St for more than a century.