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Kmart in the Meridian Mall remains closed. Photo: ODT
Photo: ODT
Kmart is reviewing two sites as possibilities to be its new home in Dunedin and is considering options for a temporary site.

The department store has also pledged to continue paying all its Dunedin staff while it works through options for the temporary site.

"We're committed to being part of the Dunedin community in the future and will provide an update as soon as we have new information to share," a spokeswoman said.

Kmart revealed this week it would not reopen the doors of its shop in Dunedin’s central city Meridian Mall.

The shop has been closed since New Zealand went into lockdown in late March.

In justifying remaining closed, Kmart cited concerns about seismic strengthening needed at the mall, which has a seismic performance rating of less than 34% of the new building standard.

The company decided not to renew its lease, due to expire in September, preferring to seek a site with seismic performance above 67%.

The company was not able to share details about the locations it was exploring in Dunedin, the spokeswoman said.

The Dunedin City Council confirmed it had been in contact with company representatives.

The council declined to comment further and did not answer a question about whether non-notified consent — a less onerous process than notified resource consent applications — was a possibility for any sites Kmart could be exploring.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said it was encouraging the company was assessing locations within the city.

Council staff routinely had discussions with "any number of large employers".

Meridian Mall manager the Oyster Property Group has consistently defended the safety of the building.

Retail asset manager Jennifer Andrews said a seismic upgrade was planned at the centre and the group was disappointed about Kmart’s decision to leave.

A new tenant would be sought.

"We’ve had a great relationship with Kmart for many years," she said.

"The centre will continue to be a popular shopping destination and a vital part of the city."


Go away we are dunedin. We like our shops old, with a lack of lighting, a whiff of moth balls and ran by Basil FAWLTY

Not always the case, and not this time. Meridian's earthquake strengthening issues i doubt were much of an issue back when it was built.

And there's been talk, for years, that Kmart have wanted to move into a standalone store somewhere in Dunedin. I've not shopped there since they halved the store size and removed the electronics etc sections, but from what i understand they are usually the last store in the mall to close each day, at certain times of year that could be midnight or later.
So surely they'd probably have to pay some sort of extra charges to the Meridian so that the carpark and pedestrian entrances, lighting etc are still available so customers can get in and out safely.

That could be one big reason for wanting their own building.

Your comment is exactly what is wrong with the parochial mindset of a Dunedin resident. This city offers nothing to our teens and young adults, it’s no surprise they leave once their higher education is finished.

Please change your tune and make for a better Dunedin.



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