Sports shop relocation boosts mall

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 12:55 21/02/2014
Southland Times photo
Mark and Chantel Knox have bought the old Leckies fast food restaurant building in The Mall, Cromwell and are transforming it into the new premises of their Stirling Sports business.

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A young entrepreneurial couple is helping breath new life into Cromwell's mall.

Mark and Chantel Knox are in the initial stages of transforming a building in "terrible condition" on the edge of The Mall in Cromwell, into their new Stirling Sports premises.

"It was a bit of an unknown because it was in terrible condition. It took a lot of vision to buy this building. We are completely gutting it and bringing up to building code standards," business director Mark Knox said.

The couple were motivated to buy the former Leckies fast food restaurant because of its proximity to other busy businesses and foot traffic, as well as the desire to own their own building.

Stirling Sports is currently in a building neighbouring Subway, and is next door to the site earmarked for the new i-SITE building.

"To be honest, it might tidy up this end of The Mall and encourage people to go through. People aren't going to just see a Paper Plus, they will now see a national sports retailer, which might make people stop and take a look."

The building was spacious enough upstairs for the couple to build office space to rent out, Chantel Knox said.

The couple had already signed up people keen to rent office space and had received positive feedback from the community and other businesses in The Mall, she said.

Envisage owner Marie Heaps said it was "wonderful" to have the business relocating next door to her shop.

"It is absolutely fabulous. It will draw other people into The Mall, especially in weekends. I will probably extend my hours to keep Mark company."

Stirling Sports should be open in the new premises by the end of March.

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- The Mirror

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