A popular Levin business will close its doors early next year as the owner takes stock of his health and said he won't miss being robbed, abused, and assaulted.
Garry Anderson was extremely grateful to a long list of loyal clients during the 15 years of owning Anderson's Outdoor Machinery on Hokio Beach Road in Levin.
Personal health conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic had a large bearing on his decision to close shop and it was largely a case of putting his own wellbeing first.
"I have had some wonderful experiences with my customers and I will genuinely miss many of them who have been with me for a long period of time," he said.
"Since the Covid epidemic started one of the things I have noticed and been humbled by, is support from many in our local community who are spending their money locally to help small businesses and I want to thank them for the support they have given."
But the decision was made easier knowing he wouldn't have to deal with a small group of customers who had robbed him at will.
"I also want to bring up what is hidden from many of the public and that is the other side of the coin where we have a small minority of ignorant individuals who think retailers and their staff are there to be abused and even physically assaulted," he said.
"Unfortunately this seems to be a growing epidemic and it has got to the stage where my staff do not want to serve the public.
"During my time in this business, I have had my life threatened three times and been physically assaulted numerous times over silly little things.
"Speaking with other retailers, this seems to be a common theme.
"The consequences for these actions is, to say the least, pathetic and when we cannot even stop a thief from leaving our store and getting our goods back for fear of being charged with kidnapping and assault ourselves, to me it makes the law pretty inept.
"You would be surprised what these people are costing retailers and ultimately their customers every year.
"Maybe I'm old fashioned, but these politically correct lawmakers have a lot to answer for and from experience, the advantage is now clearly with the lawbreakers.
"All I can say is that it's a time where we need to be supporting each other and my memories of my time in business will be focused on the great people I have met and the staff I have worked with."
The tough decision to close had been made easier for Anderson knowing valued staff were able to find employment elsewhere. There was currently a staff of four, although at one stage the business employed seven people.
"I have been extremely fortunate in that I have good, hardworking staff who have already been approached by other businesses to take up employment, which is a great relief to me," he said.
"I am aware Husqvarna are looking to establish a new agency in Levin and I wish them all the best.
"For myself, I will be taking things a little easier. I have a small business that manufactures grafting wax and will spend some relaxing time fishing, enjoying time up in the hills and spending time with family and friends," he said.
The official closing date for Anderson's Outdoor Machinery would be January 28.