Invercargill CBD set for store shakeup

DEBBIE JAMIESON
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2011

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Invercargill's city centre looks set for a shake up with three Esk St businesses closing their doors and at least one chain store looking to move in.

Fashion store Supre is planning to close next week, Paper Plus is moving into the H & J Smith store and Discovery World will close later this month.

Despite having spent some time closed in the last two months, Morrisons Deli is still open but operating reduced hours.

Speaking from Sydney, Supre international sales manager Adrian Powell said the shop opened six years ago.

"We've obviously been there for a while and in that time we haven't been able to make the store meet its expected budget ... the lease has come to an end and we've chosen not to renew it."

It is understood six staff would be affected by Monday's closure.

Australian-based clothing store Cotton On is rumoured to have taken over the lease of the Esk St business, but recruitment and selection manager Lauralee Schroeder could not confirm that yesterday.

However, the company which has the Cotton On and Factory clothing brands was definitely planning a move into Invercargill in the near future, she said.

"Cotton On has been in New Zealand at least four years now. This year we're looking at extending the brand to more regional locations."

H & J Smith chief executive John Green said the company planned to consolidate the Paper Plus franchise with Take Note at the H & J Smith store in about two months.

H & J Smith bought the Paper Plus franchise last year. Another tenant was being sought for the Paper Plus site on Esk St.

"We've got somebody very keen to pick up the property. It's a multi-store operator with operations throughout New Zealand who's keen to move into Invercargill," he said.

Morrisons Deli, which opened shortly before Christmas has reduced its hours from 12 hours days, seven days a week, to 10am to 4pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays.Owner Keir Morrison said the shop had closed its doors recently for "a little bit of a re-jig" and was now open less hours. Business was going "not bad at all," he said.

Educational products shop The Discovery Shop is also closing its doors after six years this month.

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- The Southland Times

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