Container stores open in Woolston

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012
Barry Hancox
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ

SELF-CONTAINED: Smith’s Bookshop owner Barry Hancox gets back to work at the new container mall in Woolston.

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Pop-up popularity continues to grow across the Garden City.

Six Christchurch stores have reopened out of blue containers at The Tannery site in Woolston.

The "boutique" stores Redfish Bluefish, Toi Toi Design Store, Where The Fox Lives, Flock Design Boutique, Deadset and Smith's Bookshop have temporarily set up shop in a car park while they await for The Tannery shopping arcade to open early next year.

The heritage-style complex will include an undercover shopping emporium, mirroring Sydney's Strand Arcade, that will house about 30 retailers, owner Alasdair Cassels said.

The $7 million "unique" Woolston precinct, which includes the established Cassels and Sons Brewery, is expected to open in February, he said.

In the interim, six of The Tannery tenants are operating in true Christchurch style - from containers under a marquee in the brewery car park, on the corner of Garlands Rd and Cumnor Tce.

The stores officially opened last Thursday and foot traffic was yet to pick up, one store owner said.

Smith's Bookshop owner Barry Hancox lost his Manchester St shop in the February 2011 earthquake and said it was the first time he had occupied a retail space since.

Hancox, who has owned the bookstore for more than a decade, had been forced to trade online for the past 21 months and said moving back into retail "just feels like putting on a glove that you haven't worn for a while".

Despite the shortage of customers so far, Hancox was not disheartened.

"It's great to be back in business and it's only early days so far. People just haven't found us yet," he said.

Flock Design Boutique co-owner Emma Smith said she had happily settled into the "nifty little setup".

The lifestyle store was previously based in Sumner and had been forced to "pick itself up" a number of times since the September 2010 quake, including when an elderly man drove through the shop window and hit the back wall last year.

"It feels nice to have a physical space again and the container style fits in with the aesthetic of Flock very well," Smith said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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