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City centre nears return to prosperity

As part of a series on Christchurch’s retail recovery, Colliers’ Claire Bennett offers a real estate perspective on the hot new shopping districts emerging from the rubble.

Christchurch’s CBD retail is on the cusp of a return to prosperity says Nick Doig, director of retail leasing at Colliers International in Christchurch. Interest in the Christchurch CBD is continuing to grow from retailers, encouraged by the emerging new builds in the central city.

“As new builds near completion, we are seeing strong interest from local, national and international retailers looking to secure their position in the retail precinct in the central city,” Doig says. “These negotiations take time but are certainly progressing as the CBD office space starts to take shape.”

Doig believes things bode well for central city retailers, with thousands of office workers due back in the CBD by the end of 2017. “When you take into account that Ballantynes and Re:START are on the whole trading really well – without a direct office catchment – that’s an encouraging sign of things to come as the office repopulation occurs over the next twelve months.”

In the first wave of retailers to return to the CBD, the predominant focus was on food, beverage and banking service retail sectors but interest is definitely increasing in the fashion arena. 

“While the fashion sector has been a little more cautious, savvy retailers have snapped up all the retail spaces in confirmed developments fronting onto Cashel Street in the Retail Precinct. These include Hallenstein Glasson, Michael Hill, Mecca Maxima, Pandora, and Top Shop among others,” Doig says.

“It’s really encouraging to see new international brands coming to the Christchurch CBD. This will help set us apart, from the likes of Westfield, for an enhanced shopping experience for consumers. 

“With retailers of this calibre showing such confidence, we’re now starting to get more traction with fashion offerings in the new laneways, which are a whole new concept for Christchurch. 

“Things are definitely starting to happen.”

This story originally appeared in NZRetail magazine issue 744 June / July 2016

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