Several west Auckland liquor stores will reopen with limited hours after armed robberies on the weekend led to a security shutdown.
Twenty-seven West Liquor and Village Wine and Spirits outlets were closed by their operator, The Trusts, following two armed robberies within two days.
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Trusts CEO Simon Wickham says seven of its outlets will open from 2pm until 8pm on Tuesday on restricted hours, then all its stores will return to their usual trading hours starting Wednesday.
Public fume over the inconvenience
News of the closures enraged some in the community, who were upset at having to drive further for their alcohol.
"Why would they close all the West Liquor shops? It just doesn't make sense," Swanson resident Trisha Kennedy told Stuff.
"It's just made my friend more angry because they control the liquor in West Auckland and now he can't buy alcohol unless he drives all the way to Pt Chev."
Wickham says the closures had the backing from locals, but the stores would be reopened due to the inconvenience.
"We have received very strong support from our community around yesterday's decision to close all of our stores following two armed robberies in two days. The message has been clear that the community appreciates us putting people before profits," he told media in a statement on Tuesday.
"However, we recognise the closures are very inconvenient to people in our local area. We have made the decision to open seven outlets where we have been able to rapidly increase both the levels of security and staffing as the Police continue their investigations."
The seven outlets to reopen are in high traffic areas and will have additional security guards.
"Staff from nearby closed stores will have the option to work in their nearest open outlet if they wish. All staff will continue to be paid as normal," Wickham says.
The alleged offender has since been arrested.