Baby Factory downsizes to smaller store

A large-format retail tenancy is available in Barton St, as The Baby Factory gets ready to move to a smaller store in Bryce St.

The Baby Factory, which has another store at The Base in Te Rapa, has decided to downsize from the 700-square-metre property to a 400sqm store at 44 Bryce St.

Director Warren Lowe said the company needs a shop in central Hamilton, but the large store was surplus to requirements.

"A bit like Kathmandu, really. Everyone's downsizing in town."

Kathmandu, which also has a store at The Base, last year closed its large Victoria St store in favour of smaller location in Bryce St.

He said the new store is a more viable option for the company, with lower rent.

"When [the Te Rapa store] opened, a lot of customers went out to the Te Rapa shop . . . But we still believe we need a presence in town.

The baby-products retailer will begin trading at Bryce St in mid-to-late June.

NAI Harcourts agent Mike Neale said Barton St has traditionally been the most popular location in the central business district for large retailers. The nearest alternative would be setting up in a block in Tristram St or in Te Rapa.

"It's a good opportunity to have a large-format retail and some customer car parks on-site, which is relatively rare."

The property is owned by a small group of Waikato investors.

"They're after a quality retailer," said Neale. "And if it is a quality retailer they're happy to assist in terms of a fit-out."

Bayleys agent Andy Shaw said the store would suit another national chain.

"Someone who needs big space and relatively cheap rent . . . Barton St is relatively popular. There's not much that comes up there."