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UC research to find where Christchurch CBD retailers went

UC research looking to find where Christchurch CBD retailers went to
August 25, 2013
A University of Canterbury (UC) postgraduate student is investigating what has happened to 355 businesses in Christchurch’s core inner city area.
The businesses were members of the Central City Business Association set up to help promote and develop the central city retail area, in the face of stiff competition from the big malls.
Tracy Hatton, who is heading the project, will give a presentation to the Resilient Organisations Symposium at UC on Tuesday (August 27).
The symposium is open to the public and representatives from the Canterbury Earthquake Authority (CERA) and the Christchurch City Council plus people from Auckland and Wellington organisations will be attending.  
Hatton’s study involves tracking individual businesses and will provide details about whether those businesses have relocated, downsized, or ceased to trade. 
``My preliminary analysis shows that 15 percent of businesses have not relocated or reopened new stores but have simply downsized with fewer stores in Christchurch than before the earthquakes. This demonstrates the advantages of larger businesses with diversified locations.  
``A second part of the study will investigate the stories behind the numbers with interviews carried out with businesses that have ceased trading in Christchurch seeking to understand what circumstances they faced and the choices they made. 
``I will also look at how many organisations actually fail or how many choose to exit. Inland Revenue figures, reported by CERA, show that around 10,000 new businesses have been registered in Canterbury since September 2010. 
``I want to know how many of the businesses that cannot be found are actually these new business with new names and locations. 
``Research to date also shows that there are many businesses that have managed to sustain themselves for more than two years with plans still in progress to reopen their businesses, indicating that length of closure is not necessarily an indicator of likely resumption of trading.
``How these organisations who are still closed but plan to resume manage to sustain themselves in the interim will be part of the information hoped to be gained by interviewing business owners.
``Preliminary results from stage one of the study including the number of relocations and probable cessations will be discussed at the symposium where the latest research on creating resilient organisations will be showcased.’’
Hatton is seeking to speak to Christchurch business owners who were in the central business district before the 2010 and 20111 earthquakes. She can be contacted at tracy.hatton@pg.canterbury.ac.nz.


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