Colliers associate director of research and consultancy, Chris Dibble, puts together the Collier half yearly report on retail markets.
He says Auckland CBD is in hot demand for retailers.
The suburbs and shopping centres symbolise a market on fire, he says, as vacancy rates are at 2.4 percent, the lowest since 2007.
There is a pressure for rents to rise, but he says not all retailers will be able to absorb higher costs.
“With economic headwinds, the growth of online shopping, competition for space and a new era of consumerism likely to produce challenges for some retailers,” Dibble says.
Meanwhile, further down the North Island, Wellington is having a pivotal moment in terms of retail.
Rising offshore interest has resulted in a boost for Wellington, especially with David Jones setting up shop.
Wellington has also been announced as the next place where Topshop will open, following the international retailer’s arrival to Queen St, Auckland earlier this year.
Dibble says this positivity will spread and boost investment activity.
With Christchurch, private sector developments are helping it edge closer to a return to success.
He says the key hurdles are adequate car parking and the timing of key anchor projects, as they will significantly boost the pedestrian count.
Retail is also flourishing outside of Christchurch’s CBD, Dibble says.
Outside of the main New Zealand CBD centres, retailers are doing well in catchments that growing due to resident or tourist populations.
“In underperforming CBD retail locations, new office, residential and student developments are heralded as key catalysts to increasing pedestrian counts and driving retail spend up,” Dibble says.
“The continual rise and popularity of suburban convenience centres and large format retailing remain key areas of consideration for retailers, investors and planners for the future.”