Rotorua toyshop site looking for a new player

By Colin Taylor

After 20 years as a toy shop, the Eruera St, Rotorua  site awaits a new owner and a new use.
After 20 years as a toy shop, the Eruera St, Rotorua site awaits a new owner and a new use.

The building that housed Martin's Toyworld in Rotorua for two decades is for sale.

The shop at 1206 Eruera St has operated as Martin's Toyworld since the early 1990s.

The Hintz family established the toy shop brand in the city in 1973 at another central city location before moving to Eruera St.

The two-storey 414sq m building will be sold by Bayleys Rotorua at an auction on November 7.

The leasehold building has a rental of $11,000 a year running until 2021, and meets 76 per cent of new building standards - equivalent to a B Grade. The facade was rebuilt in 1993.

The Bayleys agent handling the sale, Mark Rendell, said the open plan layout of the store, with its wide street frontage, would suit the likes of a boutique fashion outlet, stationary supplier, pharmacy, charity shop or high-end interior decor consultancy.

"With 15 minute free parking immediately outside the location, and throughout all of Eruera St, the Rotorua City Council has clearly signalled its support for the continuation of retailing in this part of town," he said.

Office administration and storage space upstairs and to the rear of the premises includes a small kitchenette and bathroom facilities.

"Part of the upper floor level could be integrated into the ground level space," Rendell said.

"Following a change in family circumstances, the Hintz family has been slowly winding down the toy retailing business. It is now selling the retail premises as the final chapter of a commercial legacy that spanned more than three decades and brought joy to tens of thousands of children."

Rendell said the Eruera St store was in the heart of the city's specialist retail strip, where shopping trends had changed markedly over the past decade.

"As consumer habits and shopping choices have evolved, Rotorua, like all provincial cities around New Zealand, has seen the bigger retailers and home store chains move out to the city fringes where larger warehouse style floor plates are available at cheaper leasing rates.

"Meanwhile, the city centres have seen a consolidation of specialist and boutique shops - the type usually directly operated by the owner who has a specialist product knowledge of the goods or services they are selling.

"That was certainly the case with Martin's Toyworld. Deryck Hintz was well known in the community and the shop's longevity was getting to the stage where customers who had been bought toys from there as children were now returning to buy toys for their children.

"Martin's Toyworld certainly created a legacy but, as is sadly the way with such stores, that legacy often ends when the owner is no longer involved with the business."

- NZ Herald

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