Site seen as key to failure

The empty premises of Shotover Markets, which closed down for good last month. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
The empty premises of Shotover Markets, which closed down for good last month. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
The location of Shotover Markets, which closed just over a year after opening, ultimately led to the venture's failure, one of the business partners involved says.

Hoping, in July 2011, to create an all-year-round indoor market, Queenstown's David Thomson and Dunedin's Paul Clark opened the market in Shotover St in central Queenstown to host up to 20 stall-holders.

However, in August this year the majority of the market closed, leaving just one business, Greek food outlet Souvalucky, still operating in the premises before it moved out last month.

Mr Thomson said he was disappointed the initiative failed, but the Shotover St location was too far from Queenstown's foot traffic.

''People don't tend to walk past that roundabout and the sunshine was on the left-hand side of the road. These are all things you learn.''

Mr Thomson and Mr Clark are both expat Kiwis who moved to Queenstown last year after spending time in England and Germany, respectively. The entrepreneurs had previously set up business in Sydney before coming back to Otago, where they are from.

Mr Thomson is now working as a chef at Queenstown diner Cranky Franky's while Mr Clark has moved back to Dunedin.

The biggest battle for Shotover Markets was keeping up with the $16,000 rent a month.

Queenstown businessmen Ian and Russell Hamilton own the building where the markets were held.

Mr Clark and Mr Thomson intended nurturing other small businesses in the town's CBD as stall leases started at $200 per week.

''They couldn't afford it. We paid our debts, but they didn't,'' Mr Thomson said.

Businesses in the markets included a small butchery, a coffee shop, a bakery and the Souvalucky store.

Mr Thomson said he would consider re-entering the Queenstown business scene and was not too disheartened over the business failing.

Last week, an electricity bill for more than $5000 was plastered to the outside of the building, but Mr Thomson said he and Mr Clark had paid all their debts.

Souvalucky's part-owner Pauline Te Maiharoa said her business had no debt to the landlords or power company and was surprised there was so much outstanding.

She said Mr Thomson and Mr Clark were a pleasure to deal with and she was disappointed the markets did not do well.