Sales of commercial property in Christchurch’s CBD have risen by record levels as office sector workers return.
Savvy retailers are avoiding high rents in New Zealand’s premium shopping areas by squeezing into shop spaces as small as toilets. Called ‘micro-retailing’, the trend has swept across the US and Europe and is now taking off in a big way within New Zealand’s cities.
A Hamilton cake shop and 2015 Top Shop Awards winner called The Girl on the Swing has swiftly exited Hamilton’s CBD, following problems with graffiti, vomit outside its store and “intimidation”. It still will continue to run its original store across town in Chartwell.
Multi-million dollar precincts underway in Christchurch are galvanising smaller players to become a part of the action. Peter Guthrey of Guthrey Holdings is seeking expressions of interests for a 2000 square metre site next to Ballantynes in the Christchurch retail precinct.
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This year saw the demise of two heritage Kiwi department stores. Wellington’s Kirkcaldie & Stains was bought out by David Jones, while South Island stores merged as H&J Smith purchased Arthur Barnett. It seems that in the age of ecommerce, a fresh approach is necessary – enter the new Farmers store on Queen St.