It was a tough day for me. Tough as I finally announced the closure of the Runnerz Circle physical retail shop via Facebook after putting up teasers for the past 5 days (and maybe through this entry here), scheduled to finally close its door on 19 June 2011. After a year down the road, things did not shape out the way I intended it to be. As like my fellow tri-athlete friend in Hong Kong said, passion sometimes can't bring wealth. Guess I have to agree with this now.
It's not easy to survive in the sports retail business locally especially when importing brands that aren't available locally or even without support here. Support is given internationally and this carved the way for parallel import which undercuts the retail pricing set. Even so, other retailers who operates without license sells the product at a much lower price thus killing off the industry. For your info, even night market vendors have license to operate.
Software and entertainment piracy was once a problem here. Much has been done and finally the war on it has proven fruitful. How I wish it was the same for me. To me, the above retailers that doesn't have license or follow the rules of the games are no difference from these pirates. I understand that our sport gears and merchandise are not cheap here, but honestly I have done what I can to bring the price down without having to kill off myself. But in the end, I was at the loosing end myself. To the consumers, of course the products are the same unlike buying a pirated CD or DVD. However, ask yourselves, are you doing justice to the industry or perhaps to a friend in the business?
Am not going further in detail on what had happened the last 1 year. From the closure, I guess most of you are able to guess it. A couple of weeks ago, I had my last team dinner under the Runnerz Circle name with the people who have been part of the team. As part of the team, the announcement was made to them first before the public one today as they truly deserve everything in advance for the effort and support given to me. Before ending this entry, I would like to thank Jamie, Eugene, Raymond, Michelle, Chin Chin and Yip for being part of Runnerz Circle. And to the rest who had supported Runnerz Circle, my most grateful gratitude and thanks to you all. Runnerz Circle, 28 July 2010 - 19 June 2011. But trust me, it's not the end for me yet...
Team Runner Circle, 6 May 2011 (photo courtesy of Jamie)...
* A note to Jamie and Geraldine. I'm still and will be keeping the flowers I received from the both of you a year ago. Though dried up, it will still make a meaningful memento.