Coltman's to close doors

COLTMAN'S Mitre 10 will close the doors to its Creswick Rd business for the final time later today.
The family-operated business will close the historic site - its first Ballarat store which opened in 1892 - to customers at 5.30pm.
Owner Craig Coltman publicly announced the move yesterday, after informing staff of the decision on Tuesday evening.
Mr Coltman said the site's limitations, including semi-trailers being unable to unload at the store, prompted the decision.
He said modern hardware retailing demanded large open plan stores with off-street car parking.
"This is the hardest decision I have ever made in my life," he said.
"The store is just getting too old.
"It's not relevant to modern retailing. We weren't able to redevelop it on the site so therefore we have sold it."
Mr Coltman said the Doveton St Coltman Garden Centre, located opposite the Creswick Rd store, and the newly-redeveloped Albert St Home and Trade Store in Sebastopol would continue to operate as normal.
He said the business had offered employment to 11 of the 28 full-time and part-time staff but 17 employees would be made redundant.
"That's what causes me the most sadness," he said.
"They are good staff. It's very upsetting for everyone involved."
Mr Coltman said the business had employed Tracy The Placement People to find the workers alternative employment.
He said the site had been sold to a business that was new to Ballarat but Mr Coltman was unable to reveal more details.
There was speculation yesterday that supermarket chain Aldi had shown interest in the property.
Mr Coltman said the business had further plans to renovate and extend the Sebastopol store, but he declined to disclose the improvements.
He said the company's directors, including his brother Steven, had spent two months investigating the redevelopment of the Creswick Rd site.
Mr Coltman said while the move was not a difficult business decision to make he said it was a tough personal decision.
He said the staff were "stoic" about the site's closure.
"Thinking about the staff and their families, that's been very difficult," he said.
"There's a lot of emotion today as you can imagine."