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Editorial

The future for retail in the Queenstown Central Business District

November 12 2018 by Steve Wilde

A lot of people have been asking: what is the future for retail in the Queenstown Central Business District? Their view is that it’s becoming harder for the traditional local operator to survive in an environment which commands some of the highest rents in the country. This is true.

What is becoming clear is that modern retail, in boutique destinations like downtown Queenstown, now requires a step-shift, in order to survive not just higher rents, but the disruption from online shopping, easy home delivery and big box retailers and their endless carparks. DowntownQT’s view is that we want to create a unique, experiential destination, backed by good infrastructure, public transport, car parking and a civic and cultural hub. To that end, our retailers too will need to begin providing special experiences within their stores.

Experiential shopping is not a trend – it is absolutely the future. It is shopping, where people make discoveries and can socialise. It’s a mix of independent stores run by retailers who carefully curate their offerings with artisan products. We already have some great examples in downtown Queenstown, with stores like Angel Divine, Williams Cottage, Decode and The Remarkables Sweet Shop beginning to demonstrate the art of experiential shopping. Rod and Gunn were on the right track, with the integration of The Lodge Bar into their store. It’s a great shame the regulators didn’t see that vision as being the right one. It was.

We think as rents become more challenging, you will see smaller individual retail footprints, more collaboration, with one, two or three different retailers operating from one site and the integration of food and retail, perhaps the best example of which will be the O’Connells Shopping Centre redevelopment. As the council rolls out its massive infrastructure campaign, which will see nearly $500 million being spent over the next ten years, the fringe areas of the town centre will become very viable for smaller, future-savvy retailers. Our locals too will enjoy being able to get into town more easily.

As it stands today local shoppers are very spoilt for choice, compared to towns with similar populations elsewhere. There is, of course, the big box retail at Frankton, the ability to buy anything from anywhere online and in downtown Queenstown, one of the best retail and entertainment precincts in the country (I say the world). And it’s all so close to home. The tough game now for DowntownQT, is to try and curate the mix of retailers. This is difficult, but not impossible. We work closely with landlords and have set out a vision which encourages landlords to think about who they rent their buildings to. Rather than the highest bidder, the end game is better served by leasing to the better operator. The landlords are listening.

Steve Wilde
General Manager
DowntownQT Association

- Steve Wilde
Comments
Please note that care must be taken with the wording of comments. Where possible, avoid negative references to specific businesses or individuals. The Lakes Weekly Bulletin reserves the right to edit or withhold comments. Comments may be reproduced in the printed edition of LWB.

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  • MR GREENY

    Let me guess.....Steve, you have been in Hangzhou and come up with this tripe...If I go into a shop to buy a new shirt, I dont want some sort of "experience"....I want a shirt....and I want to be served properly by a salesperson....dont go making this place worse than it already is....

    Edited

    Posted 12/11/2018 7:45pm (1 month ago)

  • Back Scratcher

    There is only one option for you Steve, that is to be promoted to the postion of Town Cryer.
    You will get to wear a nice uniform, tight fitting breaches,buckle up shoes and a cockayde hat sponsored by Hallinsteins. You will get a big brass bell,sponsored by the Mayor and councillors to enable you gather the serfs around while you regal them on their behalf with false promises that they the serfs will unknowingly be paying for.
    If you you fail them in their misson to delude the poor raterpayers of Queenstown in handing over millons of dollars to fund the gentrification of their CBD assets to to the ultimate benfit of you guessed it,themselfs.The Big End of Town via their proxies The Chamber of Commerce will no doubt be happy to sponsor a pillary to be set up in the Town SQ with you locked in it,to enable you to be peleted with smelly Freg Burgers.
    After that sort of experince you may be convinced of the error of your ways and become a true peoples advocate.

    Posted 13/11/2018 8:24am (1 month ago)

  • Loco too

    "Our locals too will enjoy being able to get into town more easily.".. for what? A Gucci handbag? A Jetboat trip? Or a fluffy sheep doll and a crushed paua ashtray?

    Posted 13/11/2018 11:31pm (1 month ago)

  • I used to call it home.

    Oh really. Well I thought the licences went to the businesses that can be the LOUDEST. Presumably a passerby in Camp St and the Mall is intendered to be so rendered senseless by artillery fire of earsplitting volume that they stagger into the outlet and open their wallet. The sound is louder outside the premises than in, presumably as the staff would be required by to wear ear protection or face deafness.
    I'm not sure why this seems to acceptable to the qldc. Come on qldc, time to start clamping down on this bullshit before queenstown becomes even more noise polluted that it is.

    Posted 14/11/2018 7:09am (1 month ago)

  • Fishing For Likes

    In the South Island, Te Anu has the Giant Takahe, Gore has a Giant Trout and Guitar, Riverton has a Giant Paua Shell and even Cromwell has a bunch of Giant Fruit,

    You may feel a bit left out here in Queenstown, but don't forget that we have a GIANT FLIP FLOP in the guise of Steve Wilde.

    Steve, the biggest Flip-Flopper in the South Island, lives up to his famous moniker buy "flipping & flopping" sides on any issue faced by local retailers who have unfortunately been taken in by paying into DownTownQT

    More bus stops on Camp Street?

    FLIP:
    "Mr Wilde said of greater concern to DowntownQT members was a proposal to introduce three additional bus stops on Camp St, taking the total number to four. That meant buses would be pulling up outside businesses on both sides of the street, ''belching fumes'' and creating congestion on footpaths not good. (sadface)

    FLOP:
    On removing five more car parks from Camp St to make way for more buses :

    ‘We’re 100% behind it” – Steve Wilde (happyface)

    You can be rest assured that if your business is threatened by lack of parking, high rents or big brands -The south islands' only FLIP-FLOP will be flipping his way into the back pages of your newspapers with such gems as:

    FLIP:
    "The big chains come in and they agree to pay ridiculous rent and it pushes all the rents up, and the local businesses can't do it and end up closing down." (sadface)

    FLOP:
    "We love having the big brands, we think it's incredible, especially for a town of our size, we want people to enjoy retail which you can only find in Queenstown” (happyface)

    So don't spend your money on the Skyline, or going up the Ski Fields, Just head into town, past the closing down signs and blocked off streets and if you're lucky you might just get a picture with the Flip Flop yourself!


    Posted 14/11/2018 9:16am (1 month ago)

  • Over and Out

    Having regard to that it appears that the QLDC,Chamber of Commerce and the Big end of Town are all some how involved in the appointment and managment of the Town Manager via what appears to be Front Organsition set up for the puropse.That their appears to be a considerable amount of ratepayer money being used to subsise what is in an effect a commercial entity and asociated staffing and managment. This being the case and having regard to the amount of disquite being expressed not only on this page but also elsewhere,surely we the ratepayers deserve some sort of detailed explantion,of who is paying who and how much and why.What the role encompass, hours of work,position tenure and who the incumbent reports to etc.
    This might be more beneficial than someone getting the information via an OIA request and or an news outlet like Crux asking pointed questions and during their conclusions,thus drawing even further adverse national on Queenstown with what appears to be an every increasing sorry tale of backdoor machinations by our community leaders.

    Machinations by our conmunity leaders.

    Posted 14/11/2018 11:40am (1 month ago)

  • YOU CAN NEVER WIN

    I feel for Steve Wilde.

    What an unenviable position. Dealing with the selfish interests of business while trying to placate an increasingly whiney whinging local population. Not easy.

    Without the work of Downtown Queenstown I wonder if the council would have given any thought at all to the future of the CBD? As a small local retailer in the CBD I can tell you there are more parks now for shoppers - who spend in our stores. Before they were all taken up by real estate agents and staff. The council are about to build two big new carparks in the CBD. That's good news as far as I can see.

    The busses are great. I think it's working well. You have to start somewhere and move forward to position which works for most - but you'll never please them all.

    The town centre was in jeopardy. At least now we have a plan to work through the issues. If you don't like it - then leave.

    Steve didn't create this situation. Maybe if you stopped whinging and worked more positively with him - you'd see through your blindness and see that the town is slowly improving.

    Posted 14/11/2018 12:08pm (1 month ago)

  • at least he's trying!

    Have any of you actually been to town lately? Because sounds like you have not.

    Maybe if you ventured past the shambles at Frankton and came to town you'd see it is better.

    And for those of you who are complaining on here - you obviously failed in the CBD because you are hopeless and didn't chaneg with teh times. You expected to park your work car at the door of your shop and have unlimited parking for your customers and have it all your won way. Then stay in Frankton and buy cheap Chinese tat at Kmart.

    The CBD is a great spot besid the lake. It's going to be even better - not just because of the investment about to come - but because these key board winger warriers on here won't be there!

    Posted 14/11/2018 12:26pm (1 month ago)

  • Fishing For Likes

    Steve Wilde - International Master of deception!

    When not "rescuing airplanes from South America, he's also known for pretending to be other people on the internet with such gems as: '

    YOU CAN NEVER WIN" -
    "Steve didn't create this situation. Maybe if you stopped whinging and worked more positively with him - you'd see through your blindness and see that the town is slowly improving."

    Positive how? Sorry I'd love to stay and chat Steve but unfortunately I can't get into town as there's no parking available but that's ok because such forward thinking statements like "If you don't like it - then leave." is exactly what the majority of small businesses had to do..

    and

    "At Least He's Trying!"

    "And for those of you who are complaining on here - you obviously failed in the CBD because you are hopeless and didn't chaneg with teh times. You expected to park your work car at the door of your shop and have unlimited parking for your customers and have it all your won way."

    Despite the fact small businesses paid into a group to help support them and lobby for them Steve, these business obviously 'failed" to change with the times, They expected ample parking for their customers to visit them and trade, or actually pull up outside their place of work and unload goods to be sold" -

    These businesses obviously are behind with the times! They should have caught the "OrBus" or just bloody walked at least "The CBD is a great spot besid the lake. It's going to be even better - not just because of the investment about to come "

    Yeah - Come on Steve, we both know you can't swap a bunch of letters around in a comment and expect us not to see its you hiding behind a thinly veiled mask of commentary

    Nice try though!

    Posted 14/11/2018 2:43pm (1 month ago)

  • Over and Out

    Ummmm something in the responses supporting the so called CBD initiatives have an ordur around them and its not the evil smells and smoky haze emmitting from the flues of tthe fokesy boutique burger joints and hip eateries and its own that QLDC somehow conveniently forget to mointere and enforce.Perhaps as its an reactive organsition, they are awaiting the Town Centre Manager to bring it to their attention.

    Posted 14/11/2018 3:54pm (1 month ago)

  • Lakes Weekly Bulletin

    Hi,

    We have removed/ edited some of your comments. We support freedom of speech and thank everybody for taking the time to comment on our editorials and whinges but please refrain from attacking any specific person - lets stick to the issue.

    Thanks, Lakes Weekly Bulletin

    Posted 14/11/2018 4:35pm (1 month ago)

  • MR GREENY

    Yes....stop picking on Steve you guys....leave him to redesign the CBD as he sees fit....all of us will just have to sit by, and let him get on with his ideas....the fact that we have to pay for it, and live with gayly painted footpaths is totally irrelevant....he is obviously the grand designer of the "new CBD" and that's final......

    Posted 14/11/2018 9:00pm (1 month ago)

  • Over It

    Totally agree LWB .Perhaps as the LWB publisher is also a counciller perhaps he can asitt by asking someone from the QLDC to answer some of the more relevant questions that have been raised.

    Posted 14/11/2018 9:11pm (1 month ago)

  • Fishing For Likes

    Steve Wilde - Employee of Lakes Weekly Bulletin!

    Among his many guises and in between conflicting sound bites, he can be found editing comments at the Lakes Weekly - He doesn't mind if you call him a Flip Flop or a Village Idiot but if you reveal him to be a master of the magical dark art of media manipulation, he'll quickly log on and remove your comments.

    Posted 15/11/2018 7:53am (1 month ago)

  • New QT Local

    To my mind, as a new resident from Aus, this seems a realistic and concise appraisal of issues facing towns and cities across the globe. Increasingly we live online where we can buy anything we want from around the world (whilst anonymously trolling people we disagree with). QT is not the same as it was 10, 20 or 50 years ago (sorry), and it will not be the same in the next 5, 10 or 15 years. Its difficult to predict the future and plan accordingly but we must be realistic about assessing global trends and adapt to them. Yes, people want experiential retail shopping, which differentiates from shopping online and there are many complex elements that go into creating this. The business that fail to adapt will ultimately fail but it will no doubt still be the town managers fault?

    Posted 15/11/2018 1:03pm (1 month ago)

  • My 2 cents

    "experiential retail shopping" for tourists would be interacting with local businesses, each with their own story and tie to New Zealand - not flying all the way here to just either buy UGG boots, Louis Vutton wares or Souvenirs that are made in China.

    Progress is not the "town managers'" fault however when your paid to lobby on behalf of small businesses who contribute into DownTownQT coffers, having a Spokesperson who is more interested in having their face in the papers or filming boring documentaries that have nothing to do with Queenstown while local businesses close down left and right leaves a lot of animosity and negative sentiment.

    The "Town Manager" is the biggest flip-flopper in the South Island, You only have to go back a few months to read his contradictory statements in the local media. I can't think of one positive thing the 'Town Manager" has contributed towards for Local businesses.

    It's not about progress, it's about progressing with integrity and a vision that includes the local people who have been here for the past 10 -20, 50 years and not just how we can lay the bricks for the Chinese



    Posted 15/11/2018 4:17pm (1 month ago)

  • Simple Simon

    We fail to understand why privately owned and operated stand alone retail centres like Remarkable Park and 5Mile can provide excellent well maintained facilites inculding clean and tidy external spaces with well maintained gardens and public toliets etc. Plenty of car parking ,regular coordinated promotions. All this while presumably paying people to manage and undertake the same and returning a profit to shareholders.
    The obvious question then is why do the ratepayers have subsidize CBD managment and expended millons to bring this area up to standard.Surely that is the responsibility of the property owners who are by all accounts are making world beating returns on their investments.

    Posted 15/11/2018 5:50pm (1 month ago)

  • MR GREENY

    Yes Simply Simon.....I totally agree with you....the extremely wealthy owners of the properties in the CBD should be paying for the upgrade...they are the ones getting the huge rents, and they are the ones who stand to make the most out of the upgrade....why should the struggling mum and dad ratepayers pay for these wealthy CBD Owners upgrade....makes sense to me....that being the case, if they pay for it, they can have whatever "experiences" they want, providing it comes up to our standards.....we don't want gayly painted footpaths.....

    Posted 15/11/2018 9:08pm (1 month ago)

  • THEY ARE PAYING?

    Hey Greeny - they are paying aren't they? I thought the businesses in the town are paying the lionshare of the upgrades. So what's the problem?

    Posted 15/11/2018 9:32pm (1 month ago)

  • Simple Simon

    They Are Paying.Not if you read the fine print .They Big End of Town are only going to paying some through a supposed targeted rate,which has yet to be set or clearlt explained.The balance will be paid by the ratepayersThe current Town Managers position and other associated on costs are directly and or indirectly have paid for by the ratepayers,through a sweet heart deal with the council.
    The propsed Parking building, adjacent to the new council building will no doubt be reserved for The Mayor, Councillers, CBD owners and Managers and of course council staff who will be undoubtedly be provide free or discounted parking ,while as per usual we the mum and dad ratepayers will be paying full rate so we can vist the new council building and the beautifully revamped CBD with the main feature being a statute of Steve Wilde that will be errected on the Village Green as an sign of appreciation by the populace and garlanded daily by the Big End of Town

    Posted 16/11/2018 8:41am (1 month ago)

  • Simple Simon

    They Are Paying.Not if you read the fine print .They Big End of Town are only going to be paying some through a supposed targeted rate,which has yet to be set or clearly explained.The balance will be paid by the ratepayers. The current Town Managers position and other associated on costs are directly and or indirectly paid for by the ratepayers,through a sweet heart deal with the council.
    The propsed Parking building, adjacent to the new council building will no doubt be reserved for The Mayor, Councillers, CBD owners and Managers and of course council staff , who will be undoubtedly be provided free or discounted parking ,while as per usual we the mum and dad ratepayers will be paying full rate so we can vist the new council building and the beautifully revamped CBD with the main feature being a statute of Steve Wilde that will be errected on the Village Green as an sign of appreciation by the populace and garlanded daily by the Big End of Town.We understand there will be an honesty box placed at foot of the statute so we can leave a donation for Mr Wilde for saving us from ourselfs.

    Posted 16/11/2018 8:45am (1 month ago)

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    Posted 18/11/2018 1:01pm (1 month ago)

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