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Regional rollercoaster: Arrowtown

  • News
  • April 24, 2019
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
Regional rollercoaster: Arrowtown

We're examining seven regional towns as part of a wider series. This time, it's Arrowtown under the microscope.

Arrowtown’s leafy main street, boutique shops and historic goldminers’ cottages make it a tourist magnet.

With at least 650,000 people visiting the picturesque, Insta-worthy town every year, it might seem Arrowtown retailers have it easy. But it hasn’t always been so, says Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association (APBA) project co-ordinator Sue Patterson. 

Things were “quite dire” for two or three years after the 2011 Christchurch quake. But the APBA used that period to promote the town and it’s now paying off, she says.

With a lot of family-owned businesses and little room to expand, Arrowtown’s retail mix has not changed that much over the years, says The Jade & Opal Factory manager Lisa Marshall. 

Yet it’s definitely got busier. Queenstown has become a lot more commercial, she believes, and this gives Arrowtown a point of difference. 

“It’s such a unique little town. Queenstown has lost its mum and pop businesses, it’s all chain stores. It’s still the most beautiful spot in the world but it has lost its identity a bit.”

Patterson says the quality and range of restaurants brings people in, and recent developments around the Lakes District, such as Shotover Country, Lake Hayes and Arthur’s Point, have led to population growth. There are no hotels, but more visitors are staying in town thanks to rental companies like Bookabach and Airbnb.

The town has a wealth of heritage, including the Chinese Settlement, a partially reconstructed 1860s village of Chinese gold miners. This gives the town a point of difference that adds to its story, says Patterson.

“It’s not an artificial old gold-mining town that’s been created to attract tourists, it is a real working village and that’s part of the charm.”

Opened more than four decades ago, The Jade & Opal Factory has the region’s only working pounamu carving factory. 

Ninety percent of customers are international tourists, of which 40 percent are from China. 

European visitors were down last year. But Marshall says 2018 was “pretty good actually”. She’s feeling positive about 2019, too.  “Talking to different tour operators, I think it’s going to be another busy year.” 

Check out other articles in the series:

Why some Kiwi towns are rising while others struggle

Paihia

Tokoroa

New Plymouth

Bulls

Kaikoura

Greymouth

Selling to the Kardashians from Matiere

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail issue 760 February/March 2019

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Eat my Lunch opens its first physical store

  • News
  • July 23, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Eat my Lunch opens its first physical store

The popular buy one give one model of Eat My Lunch has officially opened its first retail store in Auckland’s downtown Britomart. The store maintains its charity initiative, supplying a Kiwi kid lunch with every $14 spent.

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InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

  • News
  • July 18, 2019
  • The Register team
InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

Grace Stratton, the 20-year-old founder of specialty ecommerce site All Is For All, has been named one of 50 global Badass Women by US glossy magazine InStyle. The list includes international celebrities like Mindy Kaling and businesspeople like Stitch Fix chief executive Katrina Lake.

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Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

  • Opinion
  • July 18, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

Idealog editor Elly Strang recently spoke at the Magazine Publishers Association conference about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, and the key takeaways from Wellness Month. She shares why it shouldn't be thought of as a luxury nice-to-have, like yoga classes, as research is showing it impacts on your bottom line, as well as some tips on how to create change in the workplace.

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Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

  • technology
  • July 18, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

Many people struggle to envision plans from simple 2D renders and floor plans, as without a designer's eye, filling in blanks from imagination isn’t the most reliable method when it comes to something as important as building a brand-new home or store. Reactar has launched an augmented reality-based platform, HomeAR, to counteract this, which allows users to see and engage with homes in a virtual way, making the very personal process more reliable.

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Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

  • Who's Where
  • July 18, 2019
Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

Simon West, who has 20 years' experience leading companies like Ezibuy, has been appointed the chief executive of The Warehouse Group's outdoor retailer Torpedo7.

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Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

  • Design
  • July 17, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

Stephanie Saxton has been selling cheeky swimsuits and ethical activewear online out of Bay of Plenty's Athenree since 2018. She's now opened Saltysea's first bricks and mortar store, the Salty Collective.

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