The Topshop store will be two storeys in height and cover 1200 square metres, which is just 100 metres smaller than its Queen St store.
It will be located on the corner of Cashel and Colombo St as part of Carter’s $140 million retail and office precinct, The Crossing.
Match Realty director Aubrey Cheng says Topshop choosing the CBD to open a store will build confidence in other retailers about the Christchurch’s rebuild.
“It is a significant recognition that the Christchurch CBD rebuild is both real and exciting, and also a demonstration by a major international brand that they believe the CBD is a genuine retail location, preferred to the established suburban malls,” Cheng says.
“This will give other retailers considering Christchurch CBD rebuild confidence to join Topshop and other flagships retailers like Glassons, Hallensteins.”
It has long been rumoured that Topshop would go into Christchurch, given Carter’s ties there and his stake in Top Retail, which owns and operates the New Zealand Topshop and Topman chain.
Carter’s company, Crossing CBD, owns 25 percent, with another 25 percent owned by Karen Walker and her husband and the remainder owned by clothing chain Barkers.
Christchurch retail’s revival underway
Carter is one of many big names in property pumping almost half a billion dollars into Christchurch’s retail sector.
Lichfield Holding’s Nick Hunt is heading the $140 million Cashel Square office and retail precinct in City Mall, while property developer Antony Gough is working on the The Terrace precinct, a development that will include bars, offices, restaurants and its own container mall worth $140 million.
Cashel Square - City Mall
Tim Glasson is another stakeholder in the Christchurch retail scene, heading up the $80 million ANZ Centre development on the old Triangle Centre.
The ANZ Centre
Cheng says restored confidence in Christchurch as a retail destination means local and international retailers are following.
“Other international brands and dynamic local retailers are both coming as the snowball effects gains gravity,” he says.
Cheng is working on Glasson’s ANZ Centre and says it will imminently make an announcement about new international retail brands coming to the centre.
Names being tossed around to open up a shop in Christchurch include Zara, French Connection and Seed Heritage.
Glassons and Hallensteins are also confirmed to be opening stores in the ANZ Centre.
Much like Carter with Topshop, Tim Glasson has a 20 percent stake in the brands’ parent company, Hallenstein Glasson Holding Limited.
Cheng says these developments are making the CBD an attractive place for retailers once more.
“There is strong, genuine desire [for retailers] to locate in a well master planned, strong architecturally designed retail environment in the CBD which is truly different to the suburban malls because of the greater potential for productivity,” he says.
“This just follows what is happening globally, where the main street of urban CBDs are now usually the most dominant retail location, especially for flagship retail brands who want to showcase their brand and products.”
Local retailers to benefit from internationals
Topshop’s arrival will no doubt pull more foot traffic to the area to help local retailers, as will the rebuild of the retail offering.
“The confidence is now building with every new lease commitment, and particularly cements the Colombo St to High St axis of Cashel St to the be city’s leading fashion and retail brand location,” Cheng says.
One store that’ll be close to Topshop is iconic department store Ballantynes, which will be linked to The Crossing via an air bridge.
It underwent many challenges post-earthquake, but RCG executive chairman Paul Keane says Ballantynes has come out stronger than before through retaining customer loyalty.
“It really is a love affair. Customers love Ballantynes and Ballantynes loves its customers,” Keane said.
He noted how Ballatynes took its customers to its Timaru store by coach when its store was shut, saying it “demonstrates the ability to withstand difficult retailing environments and get on with what retailing is all about, having sound customer relationships.”
With local and international retailers mixing together in Christchurch’s CBD, the city’s retail sector is expected to go from strength to strength.
As well as this, research by Colliers shows that up to 15,000 people will be working within 300 metres of the retail and office precinct in the CBD by 2017 – and this doesn’t include retail or hospitality workers.
Christchurch’s new look retail precinct
Who’s behind it: Philip Carter, the Carter Group
Cost: $140 million
Size: 14,000 square metres of retail and hospitality and 5000 square metres of office space
Retailers confirmed: Topshop
Opening date: Christmas 2016
Cashel Square development – City Mall
Who’s behind it: Nick Hunt, Linchfield Holdings
Cost: $140 million
Size: 4806 square metres of retail space
Retailers confirmed: BNZ, Wendy’s, Scorpion Books
Opening date: Stage one finished by Q3 2015, stage two by the end of 2016
Who’s behind it: Antony Gough
Cost: $140 million
Size: Half a city block
Retailers confirmed: Westpac bank as the anchor tenant
Opening date: End of 2016
ANZ Centre development – old Triangle Centre
Who’s behind it: Tim Glasson
Cost: $80 million
Size: Four storeys
Retailers confirmed: ANZ, Glassons, Hallensteins
Opening date: Christmas 2016, but will be fully complete by early 2017