Level 2 No Good For Auckland Hospitality And Retail
“Alert Level 2 is not great news for our hospitality operators, and actually all Auckland retailers will continue to be negatively impacted. We were hoping for a Level 1.5, but that’s more than a fortnight away at the very least,” says Takapuna Beach Business Association (TBBA) chief executive, Terence Harpur.
His comments follow Cabinet’s decision today on Alert Levels, with Auckland to move to Level 2 from 11.59pm this Wednesday night.
“Level 2.5 was a lot better than Level 3 and Level 4, but Level 2 will change little. Sure, more people can potentially gather, but many will still lack the confidence to get out and about, and start socialising again,” says Mr Harpur.
The TBBA today released Marketview data showing total retail spend in the North Shore metropolitan centre for the week ending 13 September, under Level 2.5, was down 11.7% compared to the same week last year. In the week prior, it was down by just 3.5%.
“When we dropped down to Level 2.5, retail enjoyed an instant rebound, largely thanks to some pent-up consumer demand. However, with Level 2.5 then extended, trade started slowing again, so Level 2 will be disappointing to many businesses, especially our bars, cafes, and restaurants,” says Mr Harpur.
Takapuna’s latest Marketview weekly report shows spending in Takapuna on Hospitality & Accommodation was -22.5%; Food, Liquor & Pharmacies -1.2%; Clothing, Footwear & Dept. Stores -17.1%; Home & Recreational Retailing +13.7%; and all other -0.6%.
The move to Level 2 follows six difficult months for local retailers. Takapuna reported a 97% drop in retail trade under Level 4 back in April. Then last month, under Level 3, Takapuna’s retail was down 85% on the same time last year.
“Hospitality will continue to take a whack under Level 2 with big events still prohibited, less tables and chairs, and all patrons seated. Smaller shops too have to restrict customer numbers, while ‘working from home’ will continue to mean fewer patrons for many local businesses,” he says.
Mr Harpur says the TBBA is actively promoting local shopping and is calling on office-based businesses to think about the impact on town centres when staff are kept away.
“Working from home really hits our shops, restaurants, and personal services. The busted harbour bridge is not helping either. We really need everyone to come back to the office from Thursday onwards.
“We’re so grateful to locals for their ongoing support, and we encourage everyone else to come and experience the city rhythm and beach vibe that is Takapuna,” says Terence Harpur.