Major hi-fi chain store moving to Meridian

Changes are afoot at Dunedin's Meridian Mall, with original retail tenant Kmart making room for Australasian chain JB Hi-Fi.

Meridian manager Michael Porter yesterday confirmed the hi-fi chain would open its first South Island store in Dunedin in mid-September.

The opening was expected to create about 30 jobs.

The chain boasted a network of 123 outlets across Australia and 10 in New Zealand - all in the North Island - but had opted to bypass Christchurch by establishing its South Island roots in Dunedin, he said.

The shop would be located on the mall's upper retail level, with a refurbishment of the Kmart store making room for the new neighbour, Mr Porter said.

The Kmart refurbishment followed the curtailing last year of some lines of goods, including whiteware, televisions and games, and would also involve relocating the shop's checkout area, he said.

The changes would free up a 1300sq m rectangle of retail space, including shop frontage, which would become home to JB Hi-Fi, he said.

Work was already under way in Kmart, and building of the new hi-fi shop would begin next month, Mr Porter said.

Kmart would not shed jobs as a result of its changes, and could even require extra workers if customer traffic grew as a result of its new neighbour, he said.

"Every centre JB has gone into has had extremely positive flow-on effects for all the stores around them.

"They are a huge retailer in Australasia.

"I think it's got a lot of positives for the whole CBD really.

"It's bringing people into town," Mr Porter said.



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