The Year Ahead

Happy New Year! Well, those hoping for an easier transition from 2020 into the new year will have been disappointed – 2021 certainly started off, geo-politically speaking, in a far more surreal way than any of us could have imagined. How things play out in the USA over the coming weeks and months will be very interesting to watch. Plus the wide variances as to how COVID is being dealt with around the world is quite confronting. These are very challenging times indeed.

Deep down in the South Pacific, little old NZ keeps chugging away and we really should make the most of our relative normality for as long as we can. We’ve had a spectacular summer, COVID and its new strains (at time of writing!) have remained contained at the border, and long may that continue. One thing we all seem to have learnt though is to expect the unexpected. At a local level, Newmarket traded very well through the Christmas period. We had hoped for a good finish to the year, and we got one. Some of our retailers reported their best Christmas sales ever – so thank you for getting out and about and showing your support. It goes some way to help offset some of the hefty challenges our businesses endured during 2020. As a country, as a city and as a neighbourhood – we have much to look forward to in the year ahead.

You will have heard that Mulberry, the first luxury store inside Westfield’s ground-floor lux- precinct, opened their doors in December. The fit out is stunning – you can find them on the groundfloor – access off Morrow Street, or from the entry on Mortimer Pass/ Broadway (The Duchess of Cambridge is a huge Mulberry fan). There will be more top-tier brands announced soon, who will be opening throughout 2021. Watch this space. Once complete it will be game-changing in terms of what Newmarket has to offer as NZ’s premier retail district.

We’re anticipating that Broadway will regain some of the leasing momentum that was lost during lockdowns 1.0 and 2.0 in 2020. Despite all of the challenges – COVID/ lockdowns/ a couple of unrealistic landlords/ supply chain issues for retailers … we have had some new stores open in the past month or two including Le Creuset, AS Colour, Amazon and M+7 (designer children’s wear) – they are soon to be joined by Triton World of Hearing (in the ex-Spark/ Strand Bag sites), owned by Sonova, it will be the largest audiology concept store in the world! Also keep an eye out for Daldang who will be opening at 88 Broadway – they specialise in ‘Fatcarons’ – which are desserts derived from Macarons. But as the name implies, ‘Fatcarons’ are overloaded with fillings and they taste unbeliveably good!

Our developments across Newmarket are still charging ahead: Mansons are busy piling away for their new office block on Carlton Gore Road; the Fiore5 apartment building is underway in Kingdon St; a resource consent application has been submitted for the new development at The Warehouse site; the Ramada Hotel on Gillies Avenue is making amazing progress and will open later this year – and will be a timely resource to help us further promote Newmarket to the domestic tourist market.

However, we are still living in uncertain times, and we never know if the new COVID strains will breach MIQ and get into our communities. With that in mind, please keep up with the COVID check-ins when you are out and about. We don’t want summer to stop, or autumn, spring and winter for that matter…

See you here soon,

Mark Knoff-Thomas
CEO, Newmarket Business Association

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