Out of the 62 stores that remained when Dick Smith shut down earlier this year, just over 12 have been re-leased to new tenants. Colliers head of retail Leroy Wolland said there’s a lack of demand for Dick Smith’s former stores in smaller towns such as Levin, Gisborne, Richmond and Wanganui.
Several more stores are under negotiation around the country, but the problem remains with Dick Smith’s smaller regional stores.
“Ex Dick Smith’s stores in locations like Levin, Gisborne, Richmond and Wanganui are still empty,” Wolland says.
“Although the former Dick Smith’s stores are typically in the best retail locations in these markets, the issue is around the lack of demand from national brands to enter these smaller cities and towns.”
Wolland said the smaller populations sizes in these areas meant brands weren’t eager to set up shop there.
“The hesitancy for the bigger brands moving into these locations is around the lack of catchment size. So it’s likely these sites will be back-filled with local retailers as opposed to national branded retailers,” he said.
“We are working on a few options for these locations.”
The Dick Smith stores in New Zealand’s major cities had been snapped up by larger, high-profile retailers.
International retailers Witner Shoes and Footlocker had scooped high-street sites in Wellington and Auckland, while Australian pet retailer, Petstock, had sped up its expansion into New Zealand to seize the opportunity.
“The opportunity presented by the closure of the Dick Smith’s chain accelerated these brands’ rollout into New Zealand,” Wolland says.
Others sites had been taken by homeware retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Lighting Plus, as well as to The Clearance Shed, Repco, Hot Spring Spas. Pricewise and NZ Uniforms.
The Golf Warehouse, Curtain Studio, Citta Homewares andJay Car, Noel Leeming and PB Tech had also seized on a few sites.