Everything must go: After 150 years, Templeton's gets ready for liquidation
Cousins who own store in downtown St. John's say 'writing was on the wallpaper'
The two Templeton cousins who own and operate the downtown St. John's shop bearing their family name can't blame the store's closure on one thing in particular, but say it was "death by a thousand cuts."
Signs appeared on the doors of the Harbour Drive shop late last week, saying a closing sale starts Nov. 29.
"It's a tough decision but the writing has been on the wallpaper for a long time now," said John Templeton, who owns the paint and decor store with his cousin.
The last eight years has been a battle for the company, he added.
If you owe us any money please pay us. Because the retail store is closing, doesn't mean we're not collecting.- Dave Templeton
"It's never been easy, so many things. Box store competition, parking issues we've had, harbour tear-ups," said Templeton.
"We've gone through a lot and each time it has taken another hit. And this hit of the downturn in economy is just too much."
Templeton said paint sales to more than two dozen independent stores across the province dropped 20 to 30 per cent the last two summers.
"Sales are down. It's not a downtown thing, it's an island-wide thing," said he said.
"Summer before last was terrible for paint sales. July was cold and nobody wanted to paint so we lost that summer. And so this summer, for what ever reason, a downturn in the economy or whatever, we lost that summer too."
But it's not just the paint the business is struggling with.
"With inventory you see here, it's like the fashion inventory. You can't sit on fashion inventory for a period of time and hope after a year or two that you're going to sell it," said Dave Templeton.
"It's too expensive to do, you have to liquidate it."
Everything must go
Doors open for the liquidation sale at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and Dave Templeton said everything must go.
"The sales will last as long as the inventory. We have $650,000 in inventory, at cost, to clear," he said. "It'd be nice to sell all that in one day, but we've never had that big of a day."
It's estimated it will take a few weeks to get rid of the stock, and the Templetons will be around during that time to collect what's owed — more than $100,000 outstanding from contractors and homeowners.
"If you owe us any money please pay us. Because the retail store is closing, doesn't mean we're not collecting money," said Dave Templeton.
"We've had lots of accounts with people over the years and we really need to get that money in."
The Templetons said their future, and the future of the 10 staff at the store, is unclear, saying "the crystal ball is broken."
Beyond selling off their inventory, the two have no immediate plans for future business.