Dick Smith sites prove hard to sell

dicksmithNearly half of all Dick Smith stores in New Zealand have been re-leased to a range of categories and big brands, however many of the smaller regional locations remain vacant, according to real estate firm, Colliers.

Former Dick Smith stores in locations like Levin, Gisborne, Richmond and Wanganui are still empty.

“Although the former Dick Smith’s stores are typically in the best retail locations in these markets, the issue is around the lack of demand from national brands to enter these smaller cities and towns,” said Leroy Wolland, Colliers national director of retail.

Wolland anticipated these challenges for the smaller regional store locations earlier this year when the Dick Smith’s stores closed down.

“The hesitancy for the bigger brands moving into these locations is around the lack of catchment size.”

“So it’s likely these sites will be back-filled with local retailers as opposed to national branded retailers.

“We are working on a few options for these locations.”

Most of the Dick Smith’s stores in the major cities were leased to larger, high profile retailers.

Wolland says Colliers has also completed deals with international retailers Witner Shoes and Footlocker who have snapped up ‘high street’ sites in Wellington and Auckland.

“We have also leased a number of stores to new Australian pet retailer, Petstock.

“The opportunity presented by the closure of the Dick Smith’s chain accelerated these brands’ rollout into New Zealand,” said Wolland.

Colliers has also successfully leased stores around the country to homeware retailers Bed Bath & Beyond and Lighting Plus as well as to The Clearance Shed, Hot Spring Spas, Repco, Pricewise and NZ Uniforms.

The Golf Warehouse, Curtain Studio, Citta Homewares and electronic retailers Jay Car, Noel Leeming and PB Tech have also taken over stores.

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