Gardine Gibbons has owned and operated Gardine’s Flowers N’ Things for the past 30 years and every single Valentine’s Day was a success, until yesterday.
According to Ms. Gibbons, the Market Place sold flowers and other Valentine’s Day gifts right outside of her store in the Shelly Bay facility, resulting in her losing thousands of dollars in flowers and overall sales.
“ I have done many, many Valentine’s Days and I know exactly what to bring in in terms of flowers, and to think that I have to pay [Market Place] rent, electricity and land tax and they set up flowers right outside of my door,” she said. “ As long as I have been here, why would they compete with me when they are my landlord? That makes no sense to me whatsoever.”
Ms. Gibbons says that she has spoken to the CEOs of MarketPlace about them taking business from their tenant, but according to her, that was a fruitless endeavor. In fact, the situation has gotten worse.
“ Years ago, when Mr. Carr was here, I was welcomed [in this spot] because I’m a florist,” she said. “ Common sense tells you that, if I am in here selling flowers, why would you put flowers outside of my door? It looks like you are trying to put me out of business, that is exactly what it looks like.”
To add insult to injury, all of the Market Place’s merchandise was lower than Ms. Gibbons’.
“ I felt like Market Place smacked me in my face by doing this and it’s just a sad, sad situation, when people are struggling during a pandemic to make ends meet, they hurt a small business like that? It makes no sense to me.”
Ms. Gibbons says that she has been a good tenant for the Market Place, paying her rent on time for thirty years without being one month late. She believes that they have done several things to break her spirit, but it takes a lot to do that.
“ I don’t bother anyone here, I do my job and I love it, so I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon,” she said.
TNN reach out to the General Manager at the Marketplace stores and we await a response.
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