HomeUncategorizedNew retail and food & beverage complex including Kmart to diversify Ashburton’s retail offerings

New retail and food & beverage complex including Kmart to diversify Ashburton’s retail offerings

An artist’s impression of the new retail complex.

Kmart is to open a store in Ashburton, anchoring a new retail and food & beverage complex being developed by local property investor Tricroft.

The development will be constructed on a near-vacant site on the corner of Cass and South Streets, next to the Countdown Ashburton South store near the eastern bank of the Ashburton River.

Known as River Crossing, the development will feature a large Kmart store along with up to 12 separate food & beverage tenancies. Construction is due to start next year, with completion targeted for late 2022.

Tony Gilbert, General Manager of Tricroft Properties, says Kmart coming to Ashburton is exciting for the town, as it broadens the retail offering available for residents of the wider Mid Canterbury community as well as visitors.

“We’ve owned this site for a long time and bringing Kmart here is a fantastic outcome that has been about two years in the making. We’re delighted to bring a major Australasian retailer to Ashburton, which will grow and diversify the retail options currently available to the town’s residents and visitors.”

Jason Picard, Kmart’s New Zealand Country Manager, says the upcoming Ashburton store announcement forms part of the company’s expansion plans in New Zealand; plans which have seen new stores open in regional centres across the country, including communities like Invercargill, Queenstown, Blenheim and Rotorua.

“At Kmart, we want to make shopping more accessible to more people. We want to give more people access to great value on-trend products and one of the ways we do that, is by opening stores in new communities. We’ve been exploring potential site locations for some time and think that Ashburton is a great fit for Kmart. It’s a strong-performing regional hub with good demographics and it will be a wonderful addition to our New Zealand store network,” he says.

The development is expected to create between 150 and 180 new jobs for Ashburton locals, as well as assisting in reducing ‘retail leakage’ out of the town, says Mr Gilbert.

“The Kmart store and the new food outlets will become a significant new employer in Ashburton. We’re also expecting the Kmart store will help assist in the retention of retail spending here. Currently, many locals travel to Christchurch or Timaru to go shopping, so we’re hoping that having a Kmart in town will help encourage people to spend their money in Ashburton instead.”

An economic summary report on Ashburton completed in March this year by Market Economics found that nearly a third (32%) of total retail spend by Ashburton residents is not spent in Ashburton, with 16% directed to Christchurch and 16% to other locations.

“Kmart and the associated food outlets will add to the choice that is currently on offer for local residents, while increasing business activity at this end of the town centre as well as growing and adding strength to the overall retail offering in Ashburton,” Mr Gilbert adds.

The new Kmart store will be over 4,500m2 in size. Four of the smaller tenancies will adjoin the Kmart store, with five further tenancies in a separate 900m2 building. Extensive car parking in front of the retail units and Kmart store will be accessed off both Cass and South Streets.

The new development is located 450m from Ashburton’s central business district. With State Highway One carrying nearly 24,000 vehicles a day in close proximity to the site, the development is expected to be an attractive location for food & beverage operators, Mr Gilbert says.

“The complex will have excellent exposure to the large number of shoppers who will visit the Kmart and Countdown next door, along with excellent exposure to traffic passing on State Highway One. The benefits of this location for food and beverage tenants has already been recognised by the many other businesses which are established nearby, including Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Couplands Bakery, McDonalds, Pita Pit and two service stations.”

Tricroft has owned the site for around nine years, having long ago considered it as a strong contender for future retail development in an area that was previously largely industrial, he adds.

The name River Crossing is a reference to the history of the site, which was once home to an accommodation house and ferry station. These facilities are believed to be the very first beginnings of a town in Ashburton.

“After years sitting underused, we’re excited that soon this site will once again cater to locals and travellers who will be able to shop and enjoy a great choice of food and refreshments,” says Mr Gilbert.

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