The Highs and Lows of the Holiday Period

Paul Keane

We are well into 2020, and RCG are delighted to welcome Paul Keane back into the fold to provide market insights and opinion pieces throughout the year. Paul was a co-founder and executive chairman of RCG, and is a life member of the Property Institute of New Zealand. We look forward to his insights throughout the year.

Christmas seems like a lifetime past not just over 8 weeks, but in the period from then to now most of us have had Holidays and are back into the swing of things with work, longing for just a few more days off to bask in the wonderful NZ weather. Its also that time of the year when we realize that another Year is in full swing and we try and put our best foot forward in an endeavor to cope with what is likely to be ahead.

Before we look at the New Year, a few thoughts about certain items that caught my attention at the end of 2019 or during the Holiday break.

The Bunnings debacle caught most customers in both Te Aroha and Waikanae by surprise. Every retailer has a right to define its own destiny, but in the case of these two closures, it was a very poor PR effort. Customers in both locations were unaware just days before Christmas that both stores would close on Christmas eve. So why the secrecy? Despite some Union concern for staff at the time, I believe the closures were planned well in advance and the staff knew of the impending closures, hence the fact that we have heard nothing since negative to the announcement. The only people kept in the dark were the customers.

Word has it that a Bunnings will be built in Parparaumu, but there are a couple of key points in this discussion which are worth of remembering. In the first instance, customers have long memories, and secondly what does a landlord do with a couple of large empty buildings in both Te Aroha and Waikanae!

It’s a reminder to all property owners not to be too comfortable with leases that have just a couple of years left on their lease!

Meanwhile, Newmarket’s redeveloped Westfield Shopping centre opened with a high level of expectation and fanfare. There has been considerable posturing by retail and food and beverage retailers in Newmarket who have noticed that the new Retail development has eroded their respective levels of business and the Newmarket strip is markedly full of vacancies as a result.

This is not a new subject.
When shopping centers were originally opened in the 60s and 70s, local retailers were full of concern for their respective well-established local businesses. The honeymoon period of the new shopping centre will soon pass and with that there will be a realization by all that sometimes the grass is not as green as first thought on the other side of the fence.

On a less serious note, why is it that Retailers have a habit of pricing goods that end in a 98-cent figure (eg $19.98) and then proceed to charge $20!! They call it “rounding “in retail terms when the cost is adjusted upwards with no change given. I have always seen this as a bit odd, and it suddenly occurred to me that this is a level of “customer shafting”” and an easy way to obtain money not actually owed to them!

Welcome to 2020, There will be more of this as the year goes by when we capture issues that we believe are worthy of attention or need highlighting or are simply an opinion piece.

New Life Pharmacy Flagship Concept opens at Westfield Newmarket

RCG has been working with Green Cross Healthcare to develop a new concept model for their flagship stores. The first of these stores opened just before Christmas at Westfield Newmarket – the second is currently under construction within Commercial Bay and due to open in March. Take a wander through the flythrough of Newmarket here, or even better – go check them out!

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