Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the end is nigh - the recesion hits browns bay

This is the first of a series of posts documenting some the changes in the community where I live. As the economic situation worsens, business here in Browns Bay are closing their doors. When the mall opened at nearby Albany in 2007 the fall-off in trade, visitors & traffic was immediately apparent in this beach-side suburb.Then the recession began in 2008, & the rot began with the closure of the Woolworths Supermarket.
Although the 2011 Rugby World Cup was touted as being a potential financial bonanza for business of all types, in fact the only ones to benefit were the RWC itself & the grog merchants who sponsored the whole thing.
Trade for most retailers declined as any disposable income people had was spent on expensive tickets for the games.Christmas sales were subdued - people are paying for all the toys houses & batches they bought when credit was readily available. So far there has been very little summer weather to bring people to the beach - so trade has suffered another blow.
Here is an example of how bad it has been - one business owner told me  that his takings for May 2011were 20% down on May 2010.
"That's bad" I commiserated.
He gave me a wry look & continued: "And my takings for May 2010 were 50% down on May 2009."
The business closed at the end of the next month when the lease expired.
The owner predicted that as leases ran out in the village, other business would not renew, & would close down.
Rents for a small shop here are $1,000 a week.
In the past few months Video Easy has closed, as have Hannahs Shoes, Vodafone, the TAB, a hairdresser, a long-established interiors store, a Kiwi gift shop.
Watch this space for updates.....

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