A 'mall' of boutique outlet shops is to be established within Auckland's Victoria Park Market with operators for the new concept now being sought.
"There are no other retail offerings of this nature in the Auckland CBD," says Leah La Hood, Bayleys leasing broker. "This project aims to create an outlet store of recognised and reputable retails brands within the central city."
La Hood, who is managing the venture, said this latest innovation will meet a gap in the central city retail sector.
"We expect Victoria Park Market to become an outlet store destination like Dress Smart, Silverdale and Westgate, which perform very well. There is strong demand for a store like this in central Auckland, which as yet, doesn't exist. We intend to create the first such offering."
She is seeking a mix of well-established operators including, but not restricted to, clothing, accessories, homeware, food, footwear, health, beauty and books. "Goods should be clearance products at discounted prices."
While the retail and hospitality businesses within Victoria Park Market trade seven days a week, they were complemented in November last year by the relaunch of a popular outdoor market following extensive transformation and revitalisation within the complex.
La Hood says the outdoor market will start up again on October 1 and will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm during "the warm months".
"Victoria Park Market has a strong history as a market styled retail experience and since the weekend stall re-opened last year, it has also offered an extensive food selection. Now we are adding a third layer to this shopping experience."
"In addition to more than 80 stalls and existing anchor tenants, the market's retail attractions will be extended to include a number of reputable, high quality wholesale and retail operators.
"Outlet stores provide an opportunity for wholesalers to clear products and move old stock in a strategic manner within a controlled environment.
"This retail contribution will be tailored to Auckland's CBD audience by bringing together well known wholesalers and importers offering discerning products," says La Hood.
She says the weekend market will grow foot traffic, benefitting commercial retailers within the whole complex.
Operators can sign up to be part of a three month "pop-up" store from September as the retail sector heads into the busy Christmas season, with the option of then taking up a longer term lease.
Shop sizes range from 22 to 204 sq m to suit the needs of various retailers and each premise is secure, with a lockable door, as well as power and lighting. Prices are from $290 plus GST per week.
"Many operators have already expressed an interest in leasing premises within the market so we expect the available spaces to be snatched up quickly," says La Hood.
Bordered by Victoria St West, Union St and Drake St, the Market are designed to offer a different experience to shoppers compared to conventional suburban outlet stores.
Built 100 years ago, the market is the oldest example of a Victorian industrial building still standing in the central city.
The essence of an "historically bohemian marketplace" with its character cobbled lanes and landmark towering brick chimney, were retained during the multi-million dollar refurbishment.
"Throughout Auckland is a multitude of competing markets, so we needed to offer a point of difference," La Hood says. "We designed this market around the strength of its location in the inner city and its position as one of the original Market for Aucklanders - choosing stallholders whose products are of high quality and that will appeal to the tastes of city dwellers.
"Those who know this much loved market will understand the opportunity this latest development presents. It's a chance to grow their business within an already popular Auckland attraction."
Accompanying the initial three-month leasing period will be a marketing and events programme on-site starting next month that will create "a hive of activity" in the area, says La Hood.