Retailers work with NZ Steampunk Festival for shop local campaign

Rob McTague of the Retailers Steering Committee wants to revitalise the retail sector in Oamaru through shop local campaigns.
Ryan Dunlop

Rob McTague of the Retailers Steering Committee wants to revitalise the retail sector in Oamaru through shop local campaigns.

In order to get more customers in the door, Oamaru retailers are looking to attract hoards of steampunk enthusiasts as part of a new shop local campaign.

The Retailers Steering Committee (RSC) and Steampunk NZ Festival have made plans to work together for a steampunk treasure hunt.

RSC chairman Rob McTague said the idea was to set festival-goers in search of "artifacts" hidden in stores and potentially increase spending.

Rob McTague of Retailers Steering Committee and Miss Purple of Studio Realm are excited for a new shop-local campaign.
Ryan Dunlop

Rob McTague of Retailers Steering Committee and Miss Purple of Studio Realm are excited for a new shop-local campaign.

"The idea is to get locals into the shops in the quietest periods of the year from June to August," McTague said.

"It's about getting them in the shop and having some fun."

Around 30 retail businesses from the town's main street and Harbour St will be taking part in the RSC's second project. The first project was to extend Christmas hours over the holiday period, which McTague said was a success.

"A lot of the retailers have come back and said business was good."

The treasure hunt would work as a competition, McTague said. When a customer entered a participating store they needed to search for a steampunk artifact. When found, it will put them in the draw for a $600 travel voucher.

The Steampunk NZ Festival would also lend itself to the retailers through its celebrations, which are due to begin on June 1, but that was still being worked out, he said.

"Stea punk is not just a national event, it's global. We will be reaching people all over the world."

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It allowed people enjoying the Steampunk NZ Festival to explore more of Oamaru than they would have otherwise.

Steampunk NZ Festival event organiser Helen Jansen said she had the idea for the artifact hunt several years ago but it had fallen flat.

"People didn't really get involved in it, I wanted to get more tourists in the door."

But now McTague had formed the RSC it had more chance and more interest.

"It's really win-win, there's something fun for the steampunks and retailers get foot traffic and tourists become more aware of what else is in the town ".

 - Stuff

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