A furniture retailer of a mass scale set to rival IKEA was to open its full offering last month but has struck delays at its 27,000sq m premises in Henderson.
Vinod Kumar, managing director of Nido Living, said an extremely windy spring had delayed completion of what he says will be the largest store of its kind in New Zealand.
"That building is eight storeys high and we only needed five [calm] days to do the roof. It took us five weeks to get those five days. People went up there but it was too windy. They would have taken off with the tin," Kumar said today.
The store is to be bigger than three rugby fields and Nido last year said it would welcome its first customers into the full store in December.
Kumar said that would now be late February.
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A "hitch" in design work to the car parking area had created further delays, he said, but he also expects that to be resolved.
Nido also issued a statement today saying persistent high winds delayed the store.
"Construction work at the Nido retail store has been slowed over the crucial spring
season due to regular periods of high winds. The persistent wind gusts over recent months have made it unsafe for workers at the top of the 24m tall structure which has caused downstream delays in affixing the roofing materials," the company said.
The health and safety of workers was paramount and halting work during windy days was the only viable option.
"A new opening date has not yet been set. Construction on the more than 31,000 square metre site at 158 Central Park Dr, Henderson began in October 2018," Nido said.
As a precursor to the full opening, some goods have been sold since last month.
"Nido@work is operating from a temporary showroom at unit 4, 91 Central Park Drive Henderson. They will occupy a 1800sqm floor space within the nearby Nido building when it opens to the public in December," the business said last year.
"The first stage of New Zealand's largest retail store has opened with furniture and homewares retailer Nido launching their commercial furniture interiors division - the first of three stages before doors at the 27,000sqm site open to consumers later this year," it said in 2019.
Julian Bottaro, Nido's general manager, was filmed last month at the project. He told how 80 exclusive brands would be sold from the premises which would have more than 100 display rooms.
The store is shown as a partly-completed building site.
"Need a break? Pull up a seat at our 340-seat indoor cafe," Bottaro said, sitting on a plywood structure, walls being framed up behind him, plans for the cafe, Perch being displayed.
"We have the largest commercial furniture [outlet] in New Zealand," he said.
"Our pick 'n go area has over 400 flat-packed items so you can love it and leave with it," he said, running through the construction site. "Our fully automated warehouse means that you can take your product away the same day."
Mobile hoists, construction equipment and framed-up walls were shown at the premises at 158 Centre Park Dr near Henderson's main town centre.
Kumar, the Fijian Indian migrant, engineer and Auckland businessman, was a trailblazer of the Mitre 10 MEGA concept.
Kumar said last year that instead of having to wait weeks for furniture to arrive, customers would be able to pay and get delivery at the same time, due to robotic-equipped eight-level warehouses, he said. All goods would be stored on the site, he said last year.
The project will also see the installation of more than 15,000sq m of roofing, 1600 piles and 12,600 linear metres of purlins and girts.
Within the 2.7ha store will be an entire 170sq m house to show off Nido's range of goods, Kumar said: "It will be a house within the store. I've travelled the world and seen the furniture business and for us to be up there, it's a matter of being that size."
The store's foyer will be 6000sq m to 7000sq m, it will trade 10am-10pm daily, with staff working in three shifts, Kumar said.
"Stock will arrive at 5am off the truck, be packed out of containers and Dexion robots will put it in the warehouse. There will be 250 pallets of stock a day," he said.
Even before the walls were up, already Kumar "sold" the project to Maat Group syndicators, formed in 2009 and headquartered on Corinthian Dr, Albany. That property sale will help fund the new furniture and homeware business, Kumar said last June.
Neil Tuffin, Maat Group managing director, said today the slight opening delay did not affect investors' returns.
People who bought into Maat's Central Park Property Investment Fund are getting 8.5 per cent annual returns, according to an offer document. That document also said the store was set to open in December, 2019.