• Terence Harpur

Call for Office workers to return

Level one is great news for our hospitality operators and retailers. As our latest spending figures show level three, and even level two, have been an absolute killer,” says Takapuna Beach Business Association (TBBA) chief executive, Terence Harpur.

 The North Shore business leader is now calling on office workers to come back to base, saying the ongoing absence of so many is being felt by town centres around Auckland, including Takapuna.
“Working from home really hits our shops, restaurants, and personal services. We now need everyone to come back to the office and back to a sense of normality,” says Terence Harpur.
The TBBA has released Marketview data for the week ending March 7th – with six of those days under level three lockdown. It shows total retail spend in Takapuna was down 76.8% compared to the same week last year. In the week ending February 21st – which took into account the earlier three-day level three lockdown - retail spend was down by 48.3%.
“Let’s not forget that since Valentine’s Day Auckland has spent most of the time operating at either level three or level two. It has been a really tough four weeks, with level two also very challenging for our smaller retailers, bars, cafes, and restaurants given social distancing required and large gatherings prohibited.”
As well as showing a 76.8% fall in overall retail trade, Takapuna’s latest Marketview weekly report revealed spending in Takapuna on hospitality and accommodation was down74.4%; food, liquor and pharmacies down 53.6%; clothing, footwear and department stores down 78.8%; home and recreational retailing down 73.4%; and all other down 89.5%.
“We’re now hoping for a bounce over the next few months, but overall spending has been behind all summer, so we’re not taking anything for granted. We’re again calling on people to shop locally. We’re also putting a plea out to employers to think about the impact on town centres when office-based staff work from home.”
Terence Harpur says cellphone data in the past year has shown people do return to the Takapuna town centre in stronger numbers under level one, with the night-time economy recovering faster than the daytime economy. That again highlights the increasing prevalence of remote working and the impact of their day-time absence. He says car-parking occupancy has also fallen since Covid-19.
“Along with considerable freedoms returning under level one, the other good news is parking is easier, local businesses have never been happier to see you, and importantly shopping locally leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Terence Harpur says Takapuna is in a more fortunate position than many other areas, as it is set to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic ready to fire. More than $50m-plus is being invested to modernise the Takapuna metropolitan centre as part of the Panuku-led ‘Unlock Takapuna’ urban regeneration project as well as the private sector investing significantly.

Contact: Terence Harpur, CEO, Takapuna Beach Business Association. Email: Terence@takapunabeach.org.nz

Issue 118 April 2021