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Australian retailers bump up demand for leases on Lambton Quay

  • Property
  • October 13, 2015
  • Sarah Dunn
Australian retailers bump up demand for leases on Lambton Quay

According to Colliers, Lambton Quay is now 98.6 percent leased. Dallas says that because requests for retail space on Lambton Quay are outstripping supply, interest in Willis St and other parts of Wellington’s golden mile has been renewed.

The arrival of David Jones has also refreshed interest in Lambton Quay, says Dallas. Wellington mainstay Kirkcaldie & Stains will shut its doors at the end of January, to be replaced by Australian department store David Jones during mid-2016. The process will involve a $20 million makeover.

“Unquestionably David Jones will add further vitality and prestige to New Zealand’s premier retail strip - Lambton Quay,” Dallas says. “Colliers is already receiving requests from Australian retailers seeking space in the ‘David Jones zone’.”

Dallas reports that many Australian retailers refer to Lambton Quay as a ‘Westfield mall without a roof’.

He believes that the increasing Australian influence may mean a move towards annual fixed percentage increases in rent reviews. He also speaks of a trend towards larger retail stores with smart fit-outs as retailers seek to counter online sales, quoting spends of up to to $5,000/m² from those creating “special” shopping experiences.

First Retail Group works for the Wellington City Council on strategies to support the retail sector. Client services manager Lorraine Nicholson agrees that there’s a growing appetite for space in downtown Wellington. She says this has been assisted – but not necessarily driven through – by David Jones’ commitment to the city.

Nicholson says businesses recognise that while David Jones remains unique in the New Zealand marketplace, it will bring shoppers into the city: “We also think it will re-engage shoppers with the CBD, so this is an exciting time ahead.”

Other catalysts for the rising demand in Wellington central include the announcement that Topshop will establish its second branch there, plus other major developments such as the Countdown on Cable Car Lane and Jamie Oliver’s Fresh Italian. Dallas says Melborne-based fashion retailer Seed Heritage has confirmed a new flagship store will open on Lambton Quay next year, and R.M. Williams will open its first New Zealand store nearby.

Nicholson spoke of 'positive churn' occurring along the golden retail mile of Lambton and Willis St. She says many existing retailers have shifted into larger or newer sites to position for anticipated growth in visitation or trade.

She was positive about the number of Australian retailers arriving in central Wellington, but emphasised the need to support Wellington’s independent and artisan retailers – “which we know are treasured by both locals and visitors” – and retain its unique edge.

“The Quay is definitely not a Westfield without a roof and this point had both retailers and property owners a little puzzled,” Nicholson says. “Wellington's unique vibe, where shops, cafes and restaurants blend in a contemporary streetscape is poles apart from a mall environment.

“Indeed, that's what attracts businesses here - and something Jamie Oliver mentioned in a recent TV interview.”

Dallas agrees, citing Wellington’s unique compactness and its stylish fashion retailers, arts and sporting events, café culture and inner-city living as part of the attraction of its vibrant CBD.

Offshore retailers arriving in Wellington:

  • David Jones
  •  Topshop
  • Seed Heritage
  • R.M. Williams
  • Jamie Oliver

New Wellington retail stores or initiatives

  • Vance Vivian’s refurbished store
  • Whitireia and Weltec complex offers new retail opportunities
  • Lombard Lane to be rejuvenated
  • Banks Group’s new brand, Snkr

New stores based in Petone

  • Bunnings Warehouse
  • Kmart
  • Briscoes and Rebel Sport

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  • News
  • April 19, 2018
  • Courtney Devereux
Showpo: Monitoring and monetising social marketing

Online clothing retailer Showpo boasts an impressive social media reach, using different platforms to promote its brand to its audience of over two million. We spoke to chief marketing officer of Showpo, Mark Baartse, about the best way to market on social media and if he thinks influencers have longevity in a world ruled by ‘likes’.

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Wondermins designer vitamins launch in New Zealand

  • News
  • April 19, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
Wondermins designer vitamins launch in New Zealand

In the US, branded vitamins taking their visual language from the beauty world are a trendy new product category that retailers are racing to invest in. A New Zealand company has launched its own AI-enabled answer to the trend: Wondermins.

Read more
 
 
 

The April/May issue of NZ Retail magazine is headed to subscribers

  • News
  • April 19, 2018
  • The Register team
The April/May issue of NZ Retail magazine is headed to subscribers

Our newest edition of The Register’s print magazine, NZ Retail, is on its way to a letterbox near you. In it, we explore the highly specialised world of airport retail; explain how retailers can roll with upcoming changes to employment law; take you to not one but two US trade fairs with the International Home + Housewares Show and Shoptalk; trace the ecosystem behind stock units; and take a totally mature and non-salacious look at the hard growth behind adult toy retail.

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