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Takapuna retail spend rises as vitality returns - Takapuna Business Association

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

"The brazen robbery of the Michael Hill jewellery store on Hurstmere Road was a terrible day. However, it does not represent Takapuna’s overall mood which is increasingly positive despite economic uncertainty nationwide," says Terence Harpur, chief executive of the Takapuna Business Association.

The Takapuna Business Association has released Marketview retail data comparing March and May this year. It paints a positive picture, with total retail spend in Takapuna up 12.7% - twice that of the rest of the Auckland region which saw a 6.2% increase. Accommodation spend in Takapuna was up 72.9%, while spend on cafes, restaurants, bars and takeaways was up 22.9%.

"We are on the long road to recovery with things are generally getting better. We are seeing more people on the streets, enjoying our restaurants and bars, shopping, attending events, and going to the cinema and theatre. Nonetheless, things are still tough for our businesses compared to pre-Covid times," says Mr Harpur.

He is now calling on Takapuna’s commercial leaders to bring their teams back to the office more days of the week - not only to improve work culture but to help local retailers in the North Shore’s key metropolitan centre. He says as a place of employment Takapuna offers an exceptional work/life balance with a white sand beach to walk on during lunch breaks, and dozens of hospitality options.

"The presence of office workers during the day is really important for our shops and cafes. Like everyone else, we took a major hit with so many people working from home over the past two years, and in recent months many have been isolating at home sick.

"However, the borders have opened, almost all restrictions have lifted, and it’s time for normality to return. We really appreciate those who have made a conscious decision to shop local. One silver lining of the past two years is that people are a lot more cognisant of their spending decisions, knowing that if they want a vibrant town centre, they need to support it," he says.

The North Shore business leader says while recent data has been positive, there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge.

"We are by no means through this, with local businesses still having to recoup losses from eight months of lockdowns. Nationwide consumer confidence is down, inflation is skyrocketing, and most businesses are facing staff shortages as well as a myriad of supply issues," says Mr Harpur.

He says Colliers International and other property specialists are reporting strong interest in local commercial and retail leasing opportunities. New apartment buildings have helped boost pedestrian counts, with several new tenancies also confirmed in office and hospitality spaces.

Inspiring confidence in Takapuna has been its new retail focused semi-pedestrianised high street also known as Hurstmere Road, the boost in parking availability with nearly 4,000 spaces now available, and the recently confirmed $400 million mixed-use development surrounding the highly anticipated 3,500sqm Waiwharariki Anzac Square.

"People are loving Takapuna’s vitality and buzz. Events are well and truly back, with the Takapuna Sunday Market once again pulling in the crowds. We’ve also got The Wedding Singer at the Bruce Mason Theatre now on and the Takapuna Winter Lights Festival at the end of July which is expected to attract over 30,000 people," says Terence Harpur.

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