It is with very heavy hearts today, that we announce the closure of our Auckland CBD store.
You might ask, why? Well, it’s a complicated question and there are lots of reasons that have led us to this decision.
Let’s start at the beginning…
First and foremost, it was losing a lot of money.
The retail landscape in New Zealand is a very difficult proposition right now: sales growth is in a slump, unemployment figures are almost two percentage points higher than across the Tasman and ever since a failed dalliance with free-market economic reform in the early 1980s New Zealand is a very low wage, high cost economy in which imported magazines are essentially a luxury product.
Our store location at 100 Queen Street hasn’t helped either.
It’s really in a bit of a dead zone, just that little bit too far away from the rejuvenated section of the street down by the water at Britomart yet maybe not quite far enough up the hill though, either.
In short, it doesn’t get anywhere near the same levels of passing foot traffic (and, as retailers, we live and die by this) as it did, 4, 5 or even six years ago. Yet our rental costs have only increased during this period.
We’ve shut stores before (see: Getting the strategy completely wrong) but none that we’ll be so sad to see go as Queen Street. Formerly Mega Mags, this store was the very first cab off the rank in our burgeoning magazine retail empire… and for that reason it holds a very special place in our hearts.
We’re definitely investigating the possibility of opening up elsewhere in the Auckland CBD and, off course, we’re still open up the hill and around the corner in Ponsonby and a short Auckland commute (12 minutes on State Highway 1!) to our store in Sylvia Park Shopping Centre.
The store is definitely not closing immediately but we’re still not sure exactly what the last date we’ll expect to be trading there stay tuned to our Twitter feed for more info as it comes to hand.
R.I.P. Queen Street, we’ll miss ya.