It was ironic last week that both the Auckland and Christchurch city councils rejected the proposal to allow retailers to open on Easter Sunday. Apparently there was a significant vote in both councils in favour of the decision so it was a significant move in the challenge to open on a preserved traditional special holiday date. Whilst this decision was only by the two councils, and other local body's throughout New Zealand can make their own seperate decision,
I believe there is a clear signal here that the majority of our communities don't want shops to open on days that are currently considered "preserved".
Further, retailers themselves are generally opposed to the idea, as the holidays affected are considered as sacrosanct by retailers who like the idea of giving their staff a break. The debate will emerge that retailers are missing out due to online shopping, but are we seriously of the view that consumers will stop shopping on line if shops close on just a few days every year!!
I have always been an advocate for retailing. I supported in years past the opening of shops on Saturdays and Sundays.
Since those extended retail hours were introduced, retailing has flourished, and consumers have benefitted.
However I believe the decision by Auckland and Christchurch councillors is a win for retailers, as retailers in those cities can go forward with a level of confidence that the status quo for the moment remain.
I said at the outset that the announcement was "ironic". Last week I attended a celebration put on by RCG as a signal of my contribution to the company. Apart from being humbled, I was delighted with the cake they made which was identical to a traditional cash register that for years had been our company icon. It further demonstrated that retail is far from being out dated by other forms of consumerism. This icon of retailing will always remain as a signal of RCG's commitment to the industry, long may it continue.
Paul Keane is a registered property professional and has vast experience in New Zealand’s commercial property industries. He provides retail and property consultancy including development management to many New Zealand property owners, developers and city councils. This post originally appeared on RCG's blog.