Pop-up shops hurting businesses
Dave Scott and Tina Graham from The Dog Box pub in Cobham Court are scratching their heads over Porirua City Council’s decision to allow pop-up shops in competition with businesses already operating in the area.
They do not know if the policy is temporary or permanent, but are annoyed it has happened.
‘‘It’s in direct competition with those already here. What are they trying to do now?’’ Scott said.
In the Cobham Court area, several cafes and bakeries sell coffee, along with The Dog Box pub and other retailers in the shopping centre.
A pop-up caravan, also selling coffee, set up this month almost exactly opposite the pub.
‘‘We’ve had a problem with the council for a number of years. We’re here paying the big rates and listening to the council talk about revitalising the city centre, but we knew nothing about this.
‘‘It’s not bringing in business – it’s driving it away.’’
Graham said what happened was not on.
‘‘ We’ve tried talking to the council, but there’s been no reply. They didn’t even consult us beforehand,’’ she said.
The council’s general manager of strategy and planning, Wendy Walker, said there had been no consultation with other retailers because it was just a trial.
‘‘The [pop-up shop] owners still have to pay and they won’t stay if they don’t have the business,’’ Walker said.
The reason behind it was to ‘‘breathe life into the area’’.
Walker said people went where the best coffee was, and though she understood where other retailers were coming from,
had anyone could go in and set up.
‘‘ The more people we get in is a benefit for everyone.’’
Walker agreed it was cheaper to run a caravan than to rent a shop, but said that was how these people wanted to operate. The council was not going to limit how many retailers could sell coffee.
Graham said the existing busi- nesses intended getting together and going back to the council.
‘‘ It is not just us who are annoyed,’’ she said.
Graham and Scott said problems with the council had been ongoing for years, but really started when the hours of the market were extended from 10am to noon.
Scott said the pub opened at 10am and the car park was full because of the market. ‘‘So where do people who want to come in for food or a drink park?’’
Graham said people were ‘‘ using our toilets and putting rubbish in our bins’’.
‘‘I’m all for people being tidy Kiwis, but it is costing us money. That’s why McDonalds moved.’’
The Dog Box pays about $75,000 a year to operate from its current location, but Graham and Scott believe the pop-up caravans are paying a fraction of that.
There are more than a dozen empty shops in Cobham Court.
‘‘It’s like they are trying to get rid of us,’’ Scott said.
Dave Scott and Tina Graham from The Dog Box pub in Cobham Court are scratching their heads over Porirua City Council’s latest idea.