Megastore in mall hits sewer pipe delay

Unexpected sewer pipes delay store opening

KELSEY WILKIE
Last updated 12:00 19/08/2014
Cottonmain
FAITH SUTHERLAND/Fairfax NZ

NEW SHOP: Downtown Shopping Centre manager Greg Key stands in the soon-to-be Cotton On mega store in the Palmerston North mall.

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The move-in date for the Cotton On megastore in the Downtown Shopping Centre in Palmerston North has been pushed back a month after some unexpected issues.

The city mall is carrying out a comprehensive redesign, with Cotton On to be one of the main features, but the discovery of some previously unknown sewer pipes has caused a delay.

Cotton On megastore manager Rebecca Pitt told the Manawatu Standard in July the store, which will replace the centre's food court and part of its Broadway Ave frontage, was expected to open next month.

But Downtown Shopping Centre manager Greg Key confirmed yesterday that the store was now on track to open in late October.

"We pulled things apart and suddenly discovered we had sewer pipes where we didn't know they were," Key said.

The store, budgeted to cost $3 million, will cover almost 1400 square metres and will include separate men's, women's and children's sections.

Downtown Cinemas drew people mostly in the evenings but Key said the megastore would be a daytime drawcard.

"We're mainly anchored by the cinema, that's our real niche in the market. [Cotton On] is anchoring that daytime retail."

Work on the building's exterior started this week, with the windows to the Broadway Ave side being removed.

The glass for the new storefront is expected to arrive on Friday. Until then a security guard would man the site, Key said.

The former food court area has been gutted, leaving the shell ready to be fitted out for the store.

The food court, which was closed earlier this year, will move to the opposite end of the building.

Downtown was wanting to move away from the food court concept and had hired a consultant to research other options, Key said.

"It's all changing and if you don't change with it, then you get left behind.

"We've got to future-proof it . . . we want to get the theory right and then move into the practical side.

"People want variety and they want to feel special about where they go. We're really looking at the trends around the world and what the customer needs."

Key said the food court upgrade would begin next year.

He said he expected more than seven food establishments to move in, but was unsure if the same outlets that were based in the centre's original food court would return.

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- Manawatu Standard

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