The big red shed has rehomed from the Downtown shopping centre store to a smaller site at the Atrium on Elliott shopping centre. This follows an “exhaustive search” by the retailer for adequate space in the low-vacancy Auckland CBD.
The move takes The Warehouse out of its large site in the heart of Auckland’s CBD to a bit further afield. Elliot St is the street in between Albert St and Queen St.
The Atrium on Elliott store is also half the size of its previous haunt, at 1800 square metres in size. The Warehouse’s larger suburban stores are about four times the size.
Its Albany store is 7232 square metres, while Sylvia Park is 9100.
The size and look of the store have been designed to suit its metro environment, as its key clientele will be inner CBD residents, students and workers.
It will also offer its click-and-collect service, with customers able to pay for items and have them delivered to the store or to their home for a fee.
The shop is open from today within the enclosed shopping centre, which is found at the base of Crowne Plaza Hotel and BDO Tower.
In September, The Warehouse launched a tiny cashless store on Customs St which measures just 30 square metres. Its purpose is to act as a pick-up point for click and collect customers, who can also shop at the store using its ‘Endless Aisles’ service.
Colliers director Chris Dibble says the area around Atrium on Elliott is expected to have a lift in pedestrian flow in the future, with the new SkyCity Convention Centre and City Rail Link Aotea station.
The proposed 52-level NDG Centre skyscraper could also increase foot traffic.
Alison Laity, director of Colwall Property Limited which owns the building, says The Warehouse’s move is a huge boost for the centre.
“Having The Warehouse opening alongside existing large format retailers Rebel Sport and No.1 Shoe Warehouse has greatly boosted our leasing enquiry. We just wish we had more space to lease,” Laity says.
“Currently we have limited opportunities available within the centre, and we expect these to be snapped up quickly – especially with the impending closure of Downtown shopping centre.”
Precinct Properties is due to start on demolishing The Downtown shopping centre in June, with the City Rail Link being built through the site to link Albert St and Britomart.
Colliers reports retail vacancy in Auckland climbed up to 3.9 percent at the end of last year, compared to the scarce 2.4 percent in June.
This is still lower than other major cities, such as Wellingtons, which had a vacancy rate of 7.3 in the second half of 2015.
However, the Precinct Properties’ development is expected to open up vacancies for 100 retailers across 18,000 square metres, with retail stores opening for business in 2018.