New Auckland homeware store opens after lockdown delays

With jobs being lost each day and a recession looming, many would argue it's not the best time to open a new business. 

But that's exactly what an Auckland retailer is doing by pushing ahead with finishing a huge new store and creating dozens of jobs in the process.

Before the doors even opened, customers were lining up outside west Auckland's newest homeware store. It's taken 16 months and $60 million dollars, but Nido is finally here. 

"It's been a tough journey, especially when COVID hit us," says owner and creative director Vinod Kumar.

It was supposed to open in late March, but then the lockdown happened. 

Kumar - the man behind the Mitre 10 MEGA concept - didn't know if he'd be able to continue with the store. 

"I nearly just about broke down, and I did not know. The day I heard about this I just went home and started thinking about what to do."

But Kumar and his team pushed ahead. He's already employed 90 staff and expects to create at least another 90 jobs when the store's completed. 

He sells every kind of homeware and believes the store's filling a gap in the New Zealand market. 

"It's brought a real good variety to Auckland," says one customer.

"We've never seen something of this size in New Zealand yet, so really impressed," says another.

"A very good thing for the west, very, very good," adds a third.

In a few weeks, the 27,000-square-metre warehouse will also include a huge furniture department, a cafe, and a three-bedroom completely furnished show-home. 

While opening a megastore with a recession looming might not seem like the best timing, Nido isn't the only ones doing it.

In downtown Auckland, the Commercial Bay project will open to the public next month. Like Nido, the $740 million retail and food centre was delayed by the pandemic. 

"We were hoping to open in late March, and we went into lockdown late March and so, look I'll be honest and say we were three, four days away from opening," says Scott Pritchard, chief executive of Precinct Properties.

It will be home to new international retailers, as well as Kiwi brands.

"The development as a whole has great eateries, great retail and our name will hopefully bring a lot of people," says Superette brand manager Brianna Kirkham. 

The new development is bringing a much-needed confidence boost to the retail sector after months of uncertainty.