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Local skateshop closing due to slow sales

NEW GLASGOW – Business in New Glasgow was encouraging for Mitch Cooke when he first opened a second skate shop in May 2013, an extension of the business he had been building in Truro for four years.

Shane Crowe moved to New Glasgow in May 2013 when H.A.F Skateshop expanded to the area from their successful skateboard and tattoo shop in Truro. Business hasn’t been as good as owner Mitch Cooke would like, and he is closing up shop on Dec. 31. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS

It didn’t last though, sales going stagnant within the first few months, he said, and never really increasing.

“It wasn’t really growing. I didn’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel,” the owner of H.A.F Skateshop said.

The local shop on Provost Street is closing with its final day on Dec. 31.

Shane Crowe moved from Truro where he was working at H.A.F to join the new location, a venture Cooke decided to take due to the large customer base he received from Pictou County.

Though there is a substantial skateboarding scene in the area, Crowe said the human traffic in the store wasn’t comparable to Truro’s.

“It takes a while to build a customer base,” he said, adding that the competition is stiff.

Crowe and Cooke point fingers towards online shopping as a culprit, as well as their own store.

“People from Pictou County don’t mind driving to Truro,” Cooke said, noting that a half-hour drive offers customers triple the selection. “A few things were the reason for its demise.”

Business picked up during back-to-school shopping trips, as well as over the holidays, Crowe said, but at other times, they would only see a handful of faces over the course of a week.

When the shop opened in Truro – an attempt by Cooke to do something he loved – it took off almost immediately, he said, and is continuing to grow.

Cooke noted that there may have been ways to try to improve sales – a different location or products – but said he wasn’t about to “lose his shirt, trying to fill the store with product to have nobody even look at it.”

The store is quickly emptying with more than three-quarters of the stock gone since their closure announcement earlier in December, Crowe said.

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda

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