As the businesses on Stafford Street in Timaru close, the remaining owners are doing their best to keep the central business district vibrant.
Kids’ Stuff owner Dorothy Tucker and Kaitlyn Tucker, the daughter of the store’s marketing manager, recently learned that Biddy’s Antiques would be exiting Variety Lane and its Main Street store, prompting an opportunity to expand its retail offerings. I found
“Dorothy had an epiphany when she saw the space open up,” Kaitlyn said.
“There used to be a doorway[from the KidsStuff property to the Variety Lane store]and she thought, ‘Why don’t we expand it?'”
“With so many companies going out of business, we thought we would use this opportunity to grow our business.
“We felt it was a good opportunity to provide more space for our exhibits.
The expansion requires building access from the main store to the Variety Lane site, which currently houses racks of clothing and accessories for sale, with an official opening scheduled for Monday.
“We have been successful and worked hard during Covid-19. We want to keep getting busier and busier. “
Dorothy started the business 22 years ago and said she had eight to eleven empty stores along Stafford Street, the block between George Street and Strathallan Corner.
“They are all occupied, but one by one they are empty. Currently, there are 11 vacant stores.”
She remained optimistic. “I am confident that people will continue to come and support us.”
“We have to give them a reason to come to town,” Kaitlyn said.
The Armadillos restaurant across Variety Lane has reopened after being closed for about a year and still having to pay rent during that time.
South Island Hospitality Group marketing manager Tom Crosby said staffing shortages due to COVID-19 forced the closure.
“We struggled to find staff, but in the end there were no chefs or front desk staff. It was a pretty tough 12 months.
“But now we’re seeing a shift in staffing. More applicants are coming in, and the opening of borders has helped.”
The restaurant now has six staff and was open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight.
Timaru CBD Group Chairman Alan Booth said the revitalization of the south end of Stafford Street will be driven by the redevelopment of Theater Royal.
“It is also encouraging that Briskoes decided to stay rather than go north of Timaru.”
The Briscoe Group had expressed its intention to develop two brands, Briscoes Homeware, now on Evans Street, near Ashbury Park, and Rebel Sport, now on Stafford Street. We were negotiating a move under one roof Go to Showgrounds retail complex.
But last week, Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke said: The showground proposal did not go ahead. The company was weighing whether to have two retail outlets on the Evans Street property, or stick with the status quo, leaving Rebel Sport on Stafford Street.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/300890392/businesses-expand-reopen-in-heart-of-timarus-cbd.html Business expands and reopens in the heart of Timaru’s CBD