Quake boosts trade for glaziers, emergency gear suppliers

JAZIAL CROSSLEY AND PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013
Andy Healy and Mike Holmes
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

WORK WITH A VIEW: Andy Healy and Mike Holmes, glaziers from Mike's Glass, work on the National Library building in central Wellington, damaged in the weekend earthquake.

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While most Wellington retailers suffered from a lack of business after earthquakes struck the region earlier this week, emergency gear suppliers and window repair companies have been flat out.

Data from electronic transaction processor Paymark showed there were 7715 fewer transactions in Wellington's CBD on Monday, down about a third on normal volumes, after Civil Defence recommended workers stay away.

In the wider Wellington region there were 262,524 transactions, 3320 fewer than the previous Monday. Paymark head of customer relations Mark Spicer said the data showed spending was still going on in the region, but had moved out of the CBD.

"Transactions in the Wellington CBD may have been boosted by people stocking up on supplies at supermarkets."

Mitre 10 general manager of marketing Dave Elliott said its Wellington hardware stores had seen a definite lift in sales of disaster preparation and survival products.

"Our stores are reporting that all the basics like water cylinders, torches, batteries, blankets, first aid kits have all been in high demand, particularly the stores in the areas that felt the recent earthquakes."

Grab & Go Emergency Kits co-owner Michael Anderson said the kits, backpacks stocked with survival supplies that were developed with Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, had been selling wildly at supermarkets, online and in some hardware shops.

"We've been about 1000 times busier than normal. We've done more business in the last three days than in our entire business, which started around 18 months ago."

Its Family Duffels, designed to last four people for three days, have sold out but it has more on the way and is taking orders to be filled in the next 10 weeks.

"This is just a freak of nature you can't really do much about. Working with Barlows Freight & Logistics we've been able to keep up with demand. This was unforeseen but we were ready for it."

Sue Bungay, business operations manager at Lower Hutt glazier Mike's Glass, said it expected to be "frantic" with work once building clearances were all complete. It had been working on glass at the National Library in Molesworth St in Wellington's CBD yesterday.

It had called in two glaziers from out of town to support its 10 Wellington staff for the recent storms when it got a month's worth of insurance claims within 24 to 48 hours, on top of its normal work.

"Most property facility management companies have organised engineer assessments, we're just waiting for clearance before we can actually go in."

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- The Dominion Post

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