Mall retailer on move as fix takes time

Posted 27 Feb 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in Business , Media
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An earthquake-displaced Christchurch retailer is taking his store "on the road".

Menswear store Sergios was among the 20 Merivale Mall stores closed this month after engineers found parts of the building were quake-prone.

Co-owner Paul Dean said yesterday he planned to reopen the store in alternating temporary locations, starting this weekend.

The venues, which were not "traditional retail sites", had not been finalised, but would likely be in Addington and Riccarton, he said.

A third venue near Merivale was being considered.

"It's almost like taking the store on the road to a couple of key areas around Christchurch where a lot of businesses have relocated to," Dean said.

Hopefully, it's easier for them to come and see us."

There were no plans to leave the Merivale Mall store "at this stage".

It could be April before it reopened and Sergios could not "sit around and do nothing".

"Until we know what's happening with Merivale, we cannot do anything that is long term," Dean said.

"We want to be able to still retail and I guess we're going to do it with a bit of a market feel to it.

"Most people will applaud the fact that you're actually doing something rather than sitting on your hands and feeling sorry for yourself."

Sergios were forced out of its Colombo St store in the central city by the February 22 earthquake.

The building has since been demolished.

Tower Property Fund, the Merivale Mall's owner, does not know how long the stores will stay shut.

Chief executive Sam Stubbs said last week the decision to close was made after the receipt of a detailed engineering report.

The engineers who had done the detailed report had been asked to design "a fix" for the mall, which they had since carried out.

Tower was required to get a report from a second group of engineers, which would enable the group to get a consent from the Christchurch City Council, he said.

A peer-reviewed report on longer term recommendations for the mall was also needed, Stubbs said.

"We're doing everything as fast as we can ... [a timeline] is very, very hard to know. Right now we're not giving any dates, because we really have to be 100 per cent that we've identified a fix."


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