Parnell niche retail and online capability
It’s the first week of April, one week into our new un-reality.
Parnell, Auckland’s oldest suburb has seen its fair share of changes in its time, from the heady days of all night partying, into the GFC and the subsequent growth of competitive retail and hospitality areas around the city, to a resurgence of niche retail and select tourism in Parnell over the last 5 years, plus the development of the warehouse precinct in and around St Georges Bay Rd.
So now, when standing in the face of a global disruption such as COVID-19 – how does our small suburb respond? As it always has, with strength, agility, forward thinking, problem solving focus, class and a timeless grace that survives through whatever may arise. The Parnell we see in the future may not be exactly the Parnell of the past, but that’s evolution, not extinction. We believe that Parnell will continue to evolve, and that’s to be celebrated and supported.
There remains a huge question over what we will come back to in terms of retail and hospitality. Will we still shop the same way or will we have migrated to more online purchases? Who will open their doors again and who will not?
Will we emerge out of this into a brave new world and if so, what shape will that take on in Parnell?
We anticipate our really strong performing retailers and hospitality outlets will open again, but we will definitely lose some of the borderline operations along the way. And so in the face of that, what will our streetscape look like?
There are certain predictions that retail may experience an initial bubble due to the fact that post isolation we will be dying to get out among others and ‘smell the perfume’ so to say, but just how long will this last?
With the possibility of waves of alert levels and various restrictions of social distancing over the winter months, will people still trust large groups, will they favour smaller town centre shopping over large malls?
One thing that has become very obvious is that retailers who had already developed their online assets, have been able to quickly adapt and switch their offerings to online with far greater ease – we have seen that with several Parnell businesses in including many in the health and wellness sector. This has also extended to pre purchasing of vouchers for future food consumption, and fashion outlets staying engaged with their customers via a call to model clothes from their own wardrobes and galleries offering to curate your living room.
PBA MEMBER SUPPORT
FREE ONLINE AUDITS to CONSUMER FACING MEMBERS
We have never been confronted so convincingly with the fact that having an active and constantly updated presence online (web and social media) for your business is not an option, it’s a must. Parnell, being the special and unique suburb that it is, has an incredibly eclectic business mix. While there are certainly challenges for e-commerce and supply chain issues under Level 4, there is no excuse for failing to stay in touch with your customers. Some Parnell businesses have their online space functioning at a very high calibre and therefore have the ability to adapt quickly and communicate to their customers during times of change, others have no online presence, or minimal presence at best. At this time, it’s those Parnell businesses we’d like to speak to.
Moving forward into an unknown landscape for all, the Parnell Business Association hopes to encourage you to consider what your online footprint post COVID-19 will look like and we are here to offer you education and a solution…in the form of a digital audit. Parnell Business Association will absorb the cost of this audit for the first 20 businesses that initially respond and there has already been some positive uptake. At this stage, if you are a consumer facing business, all you need to do is to say YES. Please use this time to get your business ready for whatever comes next. The Parnell Business Association wants to help, so the Parnell we all know and love exists on the other side of COVID -19.
BUY LOCAL CAMPAIGN
The Parnell Business Association commenced a ‘Buy Local’ campaign pre lockdown with the intention of messaging via local media channels. At the moment the campaign messaging is continuing via our own direct mail channels to a database in excess of 9,000 recipients. As soon as we are back in Level 2, this will be extended to the media and we will be reaching out to any Parnell businesses who wish to participate in subsidised voucher options. Please stay in touch with [email protected] on this.
There are some amazing resources out there with, developed by leading businesses. In addition to the Government site covid19.govt.nz, we have our own COVID -19 page which we update regularly, but here are some others being developed by innovative kiwi business people.
Andy Hamilton, who recently departed his long -time role as head of Parnell based The Icehouse Group, has set up Manaaki – an “emergency business forum for Kiwi SMEs to get help from advisers and experts”. “Manaaki means to support, take care of, give hospitality to, protect, look out for. In all, more than 80 prominent NZ business people from a wide range of industries including retail, finance and insurance, and branding and marketing, have stood up to offer their expertise.
Enable me, a Parnell based business is offering a free webinar series: Financial resilience amid COVID-19 Join their free webinar series on how to survive, stabilise & optimise your finances amid COVID-19
Another well known Parnell business Lynch and Associates has a range of helpful articles on anything from wage subsidies to your tax. Economic Development New Zealand are also offering free seminars on anything from looking after your team and the role of Councils in the recovery and the EMA, ATEED and the Regional Business Partner Network have partnered to bring you free content to help you combat the ongoing issues businesses are facing in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. They are running three 20-minute sessions a week on the topics that businesses are asking about.
AUCKLAND COUNCIL AND POLICY UPDATE
A number of submissions were required just prior to lockdown, Auckland Council Annual Budget 2020/2021, The Local Board Plan/Budget 2020/2021 and the CCO Review. PBA submitted on all policy and budget reviews, both as an individual BID as well as together with several other Business Associations. The PBA, Newmarket, Heart of the City and Business North Harbour presented to the Governing Body at Auckland Council on the 11th March, asking them to please consider local business in the wake of rates increases and COVID-19. We also attended a review panel together with Miriam Dean and Doug Martin, 2 of the panel members for the CCO Review.
Our team are all currently working remotely, but are here to help in any way we can
Security via Platform 4 Group has been increased in the evening hours as documented in several articles last week.
Kind Regards Cheryl Adamson, General Manager