$3m facelift for flagship Whitcoulls store

Whitcoulls plans to have most of the renovations at its Queen St shop completed in time for the shopping build-up to Christmas. Photo / Dean Purcell
Whitcoulls plans to have most of the renovations at its Queen St shop completed in time for the shopping build-up to Christmas. Photo / Dean Purcell

Whitcoulls' flagship store in one of Queen St's landmark heritage buildings is undergoing a $3 million makeover.

The company said its aim was to make it the best book and stationery shop in the Southern Hemisphere.

Work is underway within the 129-year-old building, which will remain open throughout the renovations.

Whitcoulls' managing director, Ian Draper, said the plan was to have the majority of the work complete by the end of October in time for the busy Christmas period.

The interior plan of the 2000sq m store will remain much the same, after a change to the layout late last year.

"At three floors it's certainly the biggest and it will definitely be the brightest star in our portfolio once the refurbishment is complete," Mr Draper said.

The ground floor's main focus will be on books. DVDs and magazines will be on the mezzanine level with children's books, games and toys.

Stationery will be on the the first level.

Last year Whitcoulls was returned to New Zealand ownership when James Pascoe Group purchased the business. The company said it had worked closely with Auckland Council and the Historic Places Trust to ensure all historical features of the building would be protected.

- Staff reporter

- NZ Herald

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