Beauty kiosk booted

HARD SELL: A Dead Sea kiosk operator in full sales pitch.
HARD SELL: A Dead Sea kiosk operator in full sales pitch.

The Plaza will have one less beauty kiosk after an abrupt decision by the Palmerston North mall owners to kick out Premiere Dead Sea Spa.

On Wednesday, television show Campbell Live reported an 82-year-old woman was bullied into buying $5000 worth of cosmetics by Premiere Dead Sea staff at Lynnmall shopping centre in Auckland.

The day after the programme aired the Dead Sea kiosk in The Plaza was closed.

The Plaza and Lynnmall shopping centre are both owned by Kiwi Income Property Trust.

Kiwi Income Property Trust retail manager Karl Retief said Premiere Dead Sea had been asked not to continue to operate in the mall.

"They've removed all the stock, the staff are gone, the equipment will be gone very shortly and they will be out of The Plaza by the end of the week.

"If you look at what happened with that lady, it's not acceptable and we've asked them to leave.

"We believe we're a responsible organisation and when these types of things happen we investigate them and we look at getting the right outcome.

"When we get complaints we investigate them and we have to make decisions on those complaints."

The 82-year-old woman did not complain to Kiwi Income Property; Retief said the trust was alerted to the issue by Campbell Live staff.

For many years the Israeli-run operation had drawn complaints due to "pushy" sales staff.

In 2012, the Manawatu Standard reported that a man with Asperger's syndrome had spent $6232 on skincare and cosmetics at the Dead Sea kiosk in The Plaza.

Because of his condition he was unaware of exactly how much money he had handed over or what he had bought.

The man's family complained.

Maggie Edwards, an adviser for Consumer NZ, said they had received complaints last year about the Dead Sea kiosk in The Plaza but had not had any this year.

"The thing is they're not doing anything illegal; they're just really good sales people." She said the best thing people could do was avoid those types of operations.

Palmerston North resident Alana Duckett said she was happy to see the company gone.

"I think it's great, I'm sick of them pressuring me when I walk past."

Retief said the incident reported by Campbell Live was the breaking point for the trust.

He would not say how much the kiosk cost and how much the company had lost by kicking the tenant out. "Every tenant that leaves before the end of lease, there is a cost involved with that.

"This is not about a cost, this is about doing what is right."

The Plaza centre manager Andrew Heaphy and a representative from Premiere Dead Sea could not be reached for comment.

Manawatu Standard