New Picton ventures 'pleasing'
It is encouraging that Picton businesses are "thinking outside the square" and looking to cater for niche markets in order to survive, Picton Business Group chairman Graham Gosling says.
He told the Marlborough Express he was pleased to see new businesses opening up in Picton rather than hearing news of closures.
"You can't always rely on tourism and one way is to get into niche markets that the residents can support," he said.
Two such businesses are a games parlour next to Kentucky Eataway and a children's party venue in Mariners Mall, both in High St. The games parlour, being opened by Kentucky owners Percy and Barbara Chandler, had a soft opening on Friday last week but they were still waiting on more arcade machines to arrive before holding a grand opening.
Mariners Mall manager Barry Mills said that the children's party venue, to be called Shipwrecks, was not yet open but he understood it was aiming to open late next month or early September. He said that the cafe in the mall, which has the same Christchurch owners as Shipwrecks, was to be refitted too.
He declined to go into further detail until the owners chose to make more information public.
Mr Chandler said he had been working on the idea of opening a games parlour for about a year, but wasn't able to act on it until the premises next to his eatery became available three weeks ago. Fair Trade moved out of the space and has moved into the store once occupied by The Dog Box Creative Craft and Sewing Centre at 40 High St.
"The main reason we are opening it is because we are always hearing from the young ones that there is nothing to do in town," Mr Chandler said.
"Funnily enough though, it's been the mums who are most excited about it. There have been requests for senior citizens evenings and mums-only evenings - there has been some great support."
When complete, the parlour will feature arcade-style games as well as PlayStation consoles. A game parlour, called L48, used to be in Picton some years ago, Mr Chandler said.
Other business happenings in Picton include the changing of owners of Dog & Frog Cafe in High St. Marcia Cook officially took over as the new owner from Michelle McHanaway on Friday last week.
The Picton branch of Beyond the Fringe hairdressing salon has moved premises from 38 to 41 High St.
- The Marlborough Express