New store in step with the times
A Blenheim businessman is meeting the rise of internet shopping with a new venture, selling parallel-import footwear.
Greg Hall's family had been in the retail sport apparel trade for 30 years. He bought the business four years ago and in December put the company into voluntary liquidation. Since then he has become involved in a joint venture at 1 Main St with Anna Pettersson, of Blenheim.
Their new venture provides a retail experience for savvy shoppers who shopped around for the best deals, he said.
They were buying footwear direct from factories in China, side-stepping the New Zealand distributors and passing on the savings to their customers.
"It's not how I've traditionally done business," he said. "But business has to change because products are being made cheaper overseas and are available online, and we have to be able to compete with that."
Business owner Miss Pettersson said customers appeared to be enjoying the interactive shopping experience in the new shop, and browsing for particular brands and colours on the in-store computer.
They had yet to name the store, which opened two weeks ago, and were asking customers to submit ideas. The best entry would win a voucher to spend in the store, she said.
Mr Hall's company Adventure Sport Limited, which owned the Blenheim and Nelson Stirling Sport stores, went into liquidation in December, owing more than $1 million.
He blamed his inability to pay his bills on the disruption and $350,000 cost of earthquake-proofing his Main St building. The first liquidator's report showed secure creditors were owed just over $1m, the largest being the ANZ Bank, which was owed $993,742.
The liquidation, expected to take five months, had yet to be finalised, but Mr Hall was looking forward to putting the experience behind him.
"Sometimes things go against you, that's life, that's business, some things just don't work out," he said.
This story has been updated since the original version
The Marlborough Express