New World Metro, one of two Auckland inner-city supermarkets being developed, will draw about 25,000 to 30,000 shoppers a week after a $3.5 million fitout is completed.
Tony Catton, a property development executive with supermarket firm Foodstuffs, said these were the customer projections for the 1325sq m basement store Savoy Construction was fitting out beneath the former BNZ Centre at 125 Queen St opposite the intersection with Shortland St. That could result in about 1.5 million visits a year.
A foodcourt operated from the basement for years, accessed via escalators from the ground-floor retail areas off Queen St, but BNZ staff have left the high-rise for the new Deloitte tower almost diagonally opposite and all retail areas have since been shut, advertised for lease while floorspace is reconfigured.
Supermarkets have become all the rage in Auckland's CBD: a rival Countdown supermarket of more than 2000sq m is being fitted out a block away from New World Metro and will be accessed off Victoria St West.
That store may open before Christmas.
Mr Catton said it was hoped the New World Metro would open early in March.
"The focus will be on fresh, so it will be a normal New World in that you will be able to get the majority of your needs there but the focus will be on fruit, vegetables, butchery and the delicatessen because that's the size the store lends itself to.
"Those are the categories where products can bounce out at people with the right colours and smells," he said.
No carparks are being offered to shoppers, whose spend is expected to average under $25 a visit, Mr Catton said.
Loading will be via a dock off Mills Lane, but the street is too narrow for semi-trailers so 8m rigid trucks will be the largest unloading.
Critics have said the store will be more like a glorified Four Square but Mr Catton said a large number of items would be carried and if stocks ran low, groceries and other products could easily be trucked in in only 30 minutes.
* 25,000 apartment dwellers
* 85,000 office workers.
* 40,000 students at Auckland Uni.