COVID-19 one more nail in coffin for struggling local hobby stores

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Derek Kanak’s hobby store was already struggling to make ends meet when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and even as more people look for hobbies to keep them busy, he has watched his sales continue to plummet.

“It’s horrible. We’re basically making enough money to pay rent. I can’t pay any wages,” said Kanak, owner of Remote Control Hobbies in Regina.

A year-and-a-half ago he began to see his sales fall dramatically, which he attributed to a suffering Saskatchewan economy. Last year his sales were down 50 per cent.

This year his sales have dropped another 70 per cent, even though he has still been offering curb side pickup of products after his store front was forced to close to the public because of COVID-19.

But his store didn’t always have such dismal prospects.

Kanak first opened Remote Control Hobbies seven years ago out of his own passion for remote control vehicles, and at first, business was great.