Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Sylvia Park, Botany tops but Wellington complacent

Westfield Albany was a close second in the rankings of super heavyweight malls. Photo / Richard Robinson
Westfield Albany was a close second in the rankings of super heavyweight malls. Photo / Richard Robinson

Sylvia Park and Botany Town Centre in Auckland and Christchurch's The Hub Hornby are New Zealand's best malls, says retail consultant RCG.

The worst is Wanganui's Trafalgar Square, with just one men's toilet cubicle. The bemused judges asked if this created problems at peak periods.

RCG analysed 32 malls.

It found Wellington wanting and said its shops needed a shot in the arm.

"Is it a case of 'we don't do malls in Wellywood'?" RCG asked of what it found to be a complacent city.

Nationally, it fretted about a sameness about malls, calling this a drawback in a small country with short travelling distances. Consumers wanted something new and malls could create significant points of difference rather than mimicking each other, said the retail planning, interior design, architecture and property management business.

Sylvia Park rated as the best super heavyweight centre, edging out Westfield Albany by a nose. The Mt Wellington mall is the country's most valuable at $500 million, the second highest ranking for sales last year after Westfield Riccarton and has the largest number of tenants at 190.

The Hub Hornby won the middleweight class for being bright and cheerful, having excellent growth prospects, good parking and even free WiFi.

Botany won the heavyweight class for feeling like an oasis of calm "as long as it's not raining". Attractive streetscapes and a range of shops, cafes and entertainment gave it the edge.

Aviva Investors' Shore City at Takapuna had good growth prospects but Westfield Riccarton rated at the bottom of its class, although it is New Zealand's largest.

RCG said Christchurch shoppers were unwilling to visit multi-level environments although this mall was busy on the day the consultants visited. But the centre had parking problems.

Westfield's Glenfield got 63 per cent and Pakuranga 62 per cent but the lowest-scoring mall was KCL Property Group's Trafalgar Square with 43 per cent, found to be in need of an update.

The Mall Lower Hutt scored 45 per cent and New Plymouth's Centre City Shopping Centre got just 49 per cent.

RCG encouraged those unhappy with the rankings to contact it.

RANKING MALLS

Top rankings on 32 malls were:

Super heavyweights
* Sylvia Park, Mt Wellington: 95 per cent
* Westfield Albany: 93 per cent
* Westfield St Lukes: 88 per cent

Heavyweights
* Botany Town Centre: 84 per cent
* Westfield Manukau: 83 per cent
* The Base, Hamilton: 82 per cent

Middleweights
* The Hub Hornby: 68 per cent
* Shore City: 63 per cent
* Richmond, Nelson: 61 per cent

Source: RCG

- NZ Herald

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