‘We knew we had to come back’: store reopens

Alchemy Equipment staff (from left) Harriet Heaphy, Maita Mackenzie and store manager Carmel Van...
Alchemy Equipment staff (from left) Harriet Heaphy, Maita Mackenzie and store manager Carmel Van Turnhout work in a new store in Dunedin’s George St yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Alchemy Equipment is back.

Almost a year after it closed its Dunedin store, the clothing retailer reopened in the city yesterday.

Campbell Junor started Alchemy Equipment eight years ago, initially supplying international wholesale distribution markets.

Trading conditions associated with Covid-19 meant the business had gone back to ‘‘bricks and mortar’’, focusing on domestic retail markets through its eight stores.

The company’s George St store closed at the end of last year after its lease ran out.

It had been intended the lease would be renewed but the landlord had already signed a new tenant before Alchemy Equipment had the chance, Mr Junor said.

Since then, he had been trying to find another suitable shop in George St.

‘‘It was a bit tricky to find somewhere. We had a go at a few other stores but this one finally ticked all the boxes for us,’’ he said.

The new store, the former site of Antidote Pharmacy, reopened with the previous Alchemy Equipment store’s manager Carmel van Turnhout re-employed and three other staff members.

Another staff member was being recruited.

Figures from Alchemy Equipment’s online retail business showed there was a good market in Dunedin to return to, Mr Junor said.

‘‘We had a lot of repeat business through that channel so we knew we had to come back,’’ he said.

Dunedin’s large employers, such as the University of Otago and Dunedin Hospital, attracted large numbers of shoppers into the city, which also gave Mr Junor confidence in the market.

He was also looking forward to the return of international tourists and cruise ships.

‘‘That has always been a very good market for us as well,’’ Mr Junor said.


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