Saturday, July 23, 2005

The sad state of Britomart

For months there was just a pile of fresh lettuces left outside the locked crepes shop inside the Britomart station each morning.

Even when the pancake place did open, there never ever seemed to be customers.

What a missed opportunity the shopping floor has become. A great example of greedy landlords not being customer-centric.

What do people dashing into a railway station want? A coffee, a magazine, something from a chemist? In other words quick convenience stores.

Where is the Whitcoulls, the Life Pharmacy, the dreaded McDonalds?

The coffee store opposite the crepes store is great but people disembarking from the trains take the escalators and leave to the left - not to the far right where the coffee shop is. No doubt the coffee place is doing better now that it has expanded to having a bar on the actual railway platform as well.

No-one has time to order a pancake or sushi before heading out the main doors of Britomart for their day job or other destination. It has to be food and drink on the run or a real quick fast food fix. Especially when the chances are you are already late because the trains were late.

The pancake shop is now closed. It is just inside one of the main Queen St doors. It gives the impression of a sad closed unused failed shopping area.

It doesn't have to be like this.

When on a St Patrick's Day Friday, live buskers entertained on the floor, even the coffee shop people were smiling saying business was up and people were loving it.

Let's put some life back into the place - not just once a year - and make the shops useful for train users.


Blogger Simon said...


It was very sad to see the way ARTNL and the Auckland City Council (The managers and builders of) organised the retail area inside the Britomart terminal. Their lack of experience in this area showed. Britomart is so lifeless compared to the Japanese railway stations, which have Kiosks, vending machines and noodle cafes etc on the platforms. They bring the station alive. It is a living place. I mentioned this to an ARTNL staff at Britomart. They said that ARTNL and ACC wanted a nice quiet platform area. I replied...quiet and morgue-like! Quite often there are also dept stores within the stations in the bigger cities. I think the ACC and ARTNL should`ve come over here and had a look around before they planned the retail area.


9:21 PM  
Blogger Newt said...

I've made this suggestion in another forum, but I'll repeat it here - a few months ago the Post Shop in the Downtown Shopping Centre closed. This was quite a big shop and was always busy serving office workers and tourists. I understand that despite its obvious ability to generate foot traffic through the shopping centre, the rental that Westfield wanted to charge was more than what NZ Post was prepared to pay. So they decamped to a far less convenient location at the corner of Customs Street and Commerce Street. What a wasted opportunity! - the perfect location would have been back in the building that originally housed the Chief Post Office - namely Britomart! The retail space is there, the access is there, and the foot traffic would have certainly increased through the rest of the Britomart retail area. Surely I'm not the only one to have spotted this opportunity?

10:01 PM  

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