Quirky shop focuses on inconvenience

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 05:00 06/03/2014
inconvenience
JOSEPH JOHNSON/Fairfax NZ
SLOW DOWN: Gap Filler shopkeeper Masha Oliver is running the Inconvenience Store this week.

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Fancy a Pint of Patience or a 30-hour Day? Christchurch Gap Filler's new shop, The Inconvenience Store, can offer you that and more - as inconveniently as possible.

These days our lives are more convenient than ever. Travel is faster, machines do much for us and we can even fast-forward our television shows to save time.

However, as things become more convenient, the inconvenient is becoming more popular. People want to grow their own vegetables, ride their bike to work or shop at a farmers market. While buying ready-to-eat vegetables and driving a car is more convenient, people are appreciating things that take a little time and are worth the extra effort.

The Inconvenience Store takes this idea even further.

Gap Filler, a project aimed at temporarily filling vacant sites in the city, is using a vacant shop in Cathedral Junction to demonstrate the appeal of inconvenience.

Each week, a different shopkeeper takes over the space with their own idea of inconvenience.

Gap Filler co-founder Ryan Reynolds says Christchurch's central city has always struggled with people's tendency to use suburban shopping malls.

"Convenience breeds regularity and conformity," he says. "‘Even the government's recovery plan for the central city is modelled on convenience."

The store's shopkeepers must create a memorable customer experience, fit with the inconvenient theme and have at least one item for sale with some kind of currency.

The first shopkeeper is Masha Oliver who is using the shop for her ideas until Sunday.

Oliver sells things "money can't buy".

"They're things you wouldn't find in a shop but you might wish you could," she says.

On offer is A 1/2 Pound of High Quality Brain, 10 Minutes of Silence or a Pop-up Brainstorming Cubicle. None of the objects are tangible - it's all empty bottles and boxes, creatively decorated.

"One night maybe you can't be bothered cooking dinner. Maybe you wish you had a Wishing Table which would be filled with delicious food."

Customers in the shop can only buy items with their time and creativity. To take something out of the shop, you need to come up with an idea of your own - what do you wish was for sale? A sunny morning? A bottomless box of happy thoughts?

Customers then use the craft supplies and objects on hand to create their item and leave it behind.

Next week, the only way to buy some jewellery will be to spend two hours in the shop - so inconvenient. Check out the shop from 9.30am-5.30pm on Tuesday to Sunday, Cathedral Junction.

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