PT261020Garment.JPG New store Garment on Tennyson St has had a busy first week. Photo / Paul Taylor
In the first big holiday weekend since lockdown Napier is "pumping" with life, with some retailers seeing summer holiday numbers of shoppers.
Retailers, hospitality venues, beaches and events have all been busy over the long weekend as many domestic travellers take the opportunity to have a day or weekend away.
Napier City Business Inc manager Pip Thompson said the CBD has been "pumping", with Labour weekend being the first opportunity since lockdown for visitors to travel.
The weather, public holiday, Hawke's Bay as a travel destination and the events and sports tournaments being held this weekend are factors in why it has been so busy, she said.
The region has captured a number of visitors from Wellington and Auckland for the weekend but also people from Taupo, Whanganui and Palmerston North making day trips.
"It's the place on people's hit list," Thompson said.
Barkers Napier has been "absolutely flat out" this long weekend, Dylan Pakoti said.
He said the store has seen foot-traffic numbers which are more typical of December.
On Saturday about 180 people come through the store and on Sunday about 160 people, with high stock turnover as well, he said.
There have been local shoppers as well as a lot from out of town, mostly doing general shopping, looking for a nice item to wear for lunch or dinner, but Pakoti and his colleague have also served a number of people shopping for weddings.
The latest Turley & Co's Retail Focus Research October occupancy survey found that retailers in the region had been doing better than expected since the Covid-19 lockdown, with vacancies only slightly increasing in prime CBD locations.
Pakoti said things have been "really positive" since coming out of lockdown and the Napier store is one of Barkers' best provincial locations.
Degas Boutique on Tennyson St has also been steadily busy since lockdown and last week they caught up on their year-to-date numbers, owner Theresa Cabot said.
"That's amazing considering how much time we had to close."
Saturday was "amazing" and Sunday was also busier than usual Sundays.
Most of the visitors have been from out of town and sales this Labour weekend were slightly up on last year, with Sunday "definitely" up.
She expected Monday would be a bit quieter as visitors "do their last-ditch" shopping before heading home.
New womenswear store Garment, which opened under the new branding last Monday, has also had a busy first week.
The new co-owners took over what was previously Charleston Chic on Tennyson St in September and last week was the first week opening under the rebrand.
Co-owner Sarah Simister said they have had a "pretty exciting" first week and have been busier under the new brand than they were in September.
They've had a range of visitors, from young people visiting from Wellington to people popping in on their way to Gisborne.
MTG has also been moderately busy, said customer service representative Evelyn Seton.
While the weather has been fine and rainy days are often their busiest, there have been lots of people coming in from out of town and retail has been good as well, she said.