Capital retailers benefit from capped fare initiative

Fusion, WellingtonWellington City Council is supporting the retail and hospitality sector with a unique, capped fare initiative to support the busy December trading period.

As part of its 2015 to 2025 long-term plan, council has allocated $180,000 to this year’s program, with public transport fares capped at $2 for zones two and three and $1 within zone one.

The capital’s existing scheme of free, two-hour weekend parking is often to capacity.

The strategy is anticipated to welcome more people into the city centre, without time constraints on spending or enjoyment.

Retailers have been delighted at the move and have signalled key trends driving inner city renaissance.

‘’We’re seeing exciting growth in weekend sales as consumers look for a more unique shopping and dining experience that the CBD delivers,’’ says David Byrne of Fusion Surf & Skate in Cuba Mall.

“’With an increasing sameness in suburban mall shopping, people are re-engaging with the capital’s more eclectic offer.”

The initiative will capitalise on council’s Capital Christmas program that runs from December 1 to 24 and the popular Santa Parade on December 13.

The hospitality sector is also anticipated to benefit, with visitors encouraged to make a day of it by combining the capital’s world-class shopping and hospitality on offer.

First Retail Group has been working with Wellington City Council to develop strategies to best support retail and hospitality sectors.

Its project manager, Lorraine Nicholson, says the Christmas initiative fulfils important commercial and social goals.

“Supporting inner city business by bringing more customers to their door has been a continued focus for stakeholder group, OurCBD,” she says.

“Greater use of public transport makes a visit increasingly affordable, is good for our environment, and encourages walkability, for which Wellington is renowned.”

The program launches with a marketing campaign in early December.

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