Vic Books' customers in tears after closure announced, but store promises to 'go out in style'

  • 25/01/2023

The general manager of an iconic bookshop and cafe in Wellington that is closing down in March has promised the store will "go out on a high."

Vic books announced on Tuesday via Twitter it was closing down after almost half a century of selling books to students at Victoria University's Kelburn campus.

Last year the Pipitea branch of Vic Books shut citing the lengthy protest in Wellington as well as falling revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons.

General manager Jessica Godfrey told AM it's had been a really tough few years and the rise in the number of people working and studying from home had taken its toll.

"It's tough in retail, I know some suburban businesses are having a good time with people working from home, there is more of a community in locations that previously weren't so busy," Godfrey told AM

"We have a combination of retail, hospitality and education which are three of the hardest-hit industries."

Godfrey said some customers had been coming into the store in tears, but she reassured people it would be business as usual until the store shut its doors on March 31.

"There are a lot of people who are hurting, I have had customers come in crying but I just want to assure everyone we are not closed yet.

"We close March 31 and we will look after all those students until then. Your textbooks are on their way, we have books arriving every day. We are going to be looking after you.

"We are going to go out on a high, It is 48 years and we are going to go out in style."

The store has around 20 staff and Godfrey said they had even enlisted some former staff members to come in and help out.

The news was met with sadness by many customers, including Poet Laurette Cris Tse who tweeted: "Sad news. Vic Books has been such a big supporter of NZ writers and books. It's where I launched my first book so it'll always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for all the memories and support."