Trade Aid opens after a rebuff

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 07:38 22/11/2012
Trade Aid Christchurch

BIG CHOICE: Customer Rachael Williams looks at what is on offer in the new Trade Aid shop in Merivale.

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A Christchurch fair trade shop told it was "not right" for the Re:Start container mall is reporting strong sales at its new Merivale shop.

Christchurch's only Trade Aid store held its grand reopening celebrations on Tuesday at its new location on Papanui Rd, after its City Mall site was lost in the earthquakes.

The shop has been operating since October, and general manager Geoff White said it was "almost certainly exceeding" profits experienced at its central city shop.

The store, which had been trading in City Mall for more than 30 years, had immediately registered interest to be part of Re:Start, but was told they did not fit the "high-end fashion mould".

Instead, the nonprofit organisation set up shop in Merivale, and White said the new location had contributed to business being "well above expectations. We've had such a fantastic reaction and warm welcome from locals," he said.

While the exclusion from Re:Start had left Trade Aid with few options for premises to reopen in, White was optimistic about the chain store's move to the suburbs.

"There's a lot of shops like us that need to come back into the city centre, and the fact that no-one else like us was in there probably means it's right that we're not either.

"One of our complaints about it was that we thought they had the mix wrong and it wasn't a mix that's good for Christchurch."

However, the shop would eventually move back into the city centre.

Opening a second Christchurch store was being considered.

White also believed the roll-out of the new-look Trade Aid had contributed to an influx of new customers.

"We're attracting a whole new group into the stores and that's what we were trying to do."

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- The Press

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