Retailers locally and internationally would be lining up for Topshop's site on Auckland's Queen St if a buyer isn't found for the company, says Heart of the City.

The Auckland business association's chief executive, Viv Beck, said she was aware of a number of international retailers that had been considering locations in Auckland, although she would not be drawn on who they were, citing commercial sensitivity.

"Obviously we hope they find a buyer, but it is a prime spot. If they don't, we would expect it would be tenanted pretty quickly."

Top Retail Ltd, which operates Topshop, Topman in New Zealand, appointed receivers yesterday after its directors said the company was unable to continue trading amid mounting losses in a highly competitive environment.


The company being tipped into receivership was not an indication of the retail environment in Auckland's CBD, Beck said.

"The growth we're seeing is quite significant. There's been a 49 per cent growth in retail spending in the city centre since 2010 so it's now $1.8 billion a year in terms of retail spending in the CBD.

"The number of pedestrians on Queen St has doubled since 2012 so it's a growing market and it's changing day by day," she said.

Given the short supply of commercial property in the built-up area, Beck said demand for sites was high.

Growth in the city was also resulting in a changing retail demographic, and a lot of high-end international brands were opening in lower Queen St. The Commercial Bay development in downtown Auckland was expected to be completed in 2019.

"It wasn't too many years ago that people would have looked at Queen St and thought it had only a particular type of store but that has changed in a very short space of time, so it's a sign of a growing market and a positive story for Auckland," Beck said.

"There's a lot of appeal here."

Topshop's woes follow similar issues in the Australian brand which saw it placed in voluntary administration in May.


Two weeks ago, receivers said a successful restructure of the brand had been completed with British billionaire and "king of the high street" Philip Green, buying the local assests of Topshop Australia and planning to relaunch the brand.

The Australian reported Green had been in talks with the company since May after initially selling the Australian franchise of his Topshop and Topman chains to a group of local investors in the country, including department store Myers.

Topshop first opened in Australia in 2011. Last year it made losses of A$3m ($3.33m).

It is unclear whether the British owner would step in for the New Zealand company.