JOONDALUP’S last hobby shop trader has dodged death but been unable to save his business.
Mark Pereira (56) left the corporate world to run My Hobby Shop in Winton Road in 2014 after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and doctors suggested he focus on something else.
“The business has cost me a fortune because I’m walking away with more debt than when I came in,” he said.
“But I survived cancer – that’s the main thing. I’m one of 6 per cent who survive pancreatic cancer for five years or more.”
Mr Pereira said he had been forced to close this week in tough economic times after the “worst Christmas in five years”.
“Normally we rely on Christmas to see us through the first four of five months of the year,” he said.
“We have been carrying a loss for the past 18 months.
“People are not doing stuff they used to do. Children are playing games online and not getting involved in plastic model aeroplanes and ships.
“People are buying from overseas online and we can’t compete on prices.
“Stanbridges, another hobby shop, had been around for 70 years and shut down a week before I decided to close.
“Also national companies are starting to get into our product lines and we don’t have their buying power.
“JB Hi-Fi sells DJI drones cheaper than I can buy them and the Australian Geographic stores have been selling Traxxas remote control cars.”
He said he and his family had received a lot of support from their customers after announcing the closure. The nearest hobby store was now in Westminster.
He now had to get a job back in IT project management and business analysis to pay off the debt.
“It is not just me and my family affected,” he said.
“I had two staff members, customers have to travel further, suppliers are affected – that’s the indirect cost of small business closing.”