Auckland's latest inner-city supermarket, the New World Metro in the basement of an office tower owned by the billionaire Sultan of Brunei, opens on Tuesday.
Foodstuffs Auckland managing director Murray Jordan said 125 Queen St - the ex-BNZ Tower - was picked for being in a high pedestrian count area and to cater for at least 85,000 office workers and thousands of apartment dwellers.
Within 100 metres, pedestrian counts range from 1620 to 1622 people per hour, well above Auckland CBD's average of 964 people per hour.
Bayleys manages the tower on behalf of the Sultan of Brunei.
Angela Bull, Foodstuffs Auckland general manager of property development, said the new 1324sq m store could be a catalyst for leasing 1200sq m of empty retail space on the ground floor.
"The feedback we've had is that it will get real momentum when we're here. There will be more foot traffic," she said.
The shops and the basement were empty for years, after a foodcourt shut and retailers shifted. David Bernard, of Bayleys, has been marketing the space but approaches to Kathmandu, The Warehouse and Farmers failed even though the area would suit a large-format store.
Luke Schepen, Progressive Enterprises' national communications and public affairs manager, said queues at its new Countdown on Victoria St in the CBD were forming at busy times, particularly around lunch.
"But the feedback we're getting is that it moves pretty fast. It's certainly a busy store and we're happy about that. We welcome the competition," he said of the rival store opening.
Jordan said 68 of 70 people had been employed for the New World Metro and 12 checkouts, including three self-scanners, would operate.
Harry Chawla, fresh foods manager in New World and Pak'nSave stores at Hamilton's Hillcrest and Thames, will operate the store and has contributed $3.5 million for fitout costs, Jordan said.
Around 4000 grocery lines will be stocked in the store.
The store will have a wide range of fresh produce and deli items, fully stocked butchery and seafood departments, fresh bread and ready-to go-meals.
New World Metro will operate Monday to Friday from 7am to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 10pm.