Retail therapy in Christchurch is a unique experience. As you wander the streets and malls checking out the goods on offer, you’re also touring the innovative and captivating fruits of the city’s post-earthquake reimagining as well as contributing to the resurgence of a wonderfully resilient community.
Get going at Re:Start Mall on Cashel Street, a vivid collection of shipping containers converted into shops. Experience old Christchurch on New Regent Street, a colourful pedestrian strip of Spanish Mission-style architecture housing some great specialty retail.
And don’t miss The Tannery in Woolston. A pretty shopping arcade on the banks of the Heathcote River, it houses 57 shops where you can explore high-end fashion, books, arts and crafts and gifts. It’s also a fabulous place to recover from all that spending – Cassels & Sons Craft Beer and Brewery is here, along with some other great eating and drinking options.
Our top picks
43 Lichfield Street
Ballantynes is one of those venerable department stores that is synonymous with its city. Fashionistas will want to head straight for the new Contemporary Lounge, a breathtaking concept store that features the best of New Zealand fashion names such as Karen Walker, Juliette Hogan and Sylvester by Kate Sylvester, as well as internationals.
409 Main South Road, Hornby
Stock up on bargains at Dress-Smart Hornby, the South Island’s only dedicated outlet mall. Find 60 outlet stores offering up to 70 per cent off recommended retail from the likes of New Zealand’s own Glassons, where you will find directional women’s basics at already terrific prices.
Shop like a local
If you’re lucky enough to be in Christchurch when the twice-yearly Encraftment Market is on, don’t miss it. Set up after the earthquake as an outlet for artisans who had lost their regular outlets, it’s now attended by thousands who flock to find the beautiful handmade wares of the next wave of local designers. There’s a Christmas Encraftment and a mid-year Winter Encraftment.
Two kilometres south of the city centre, Colombo Street, Sydenham was hit hard by the 2011 earthquake. Now, it’s rising as an edgy, hip centre with great bars, cafes and one terrific shopping mall. Designed to create a feeling of connection and creativity, come to The Colombo for Scandinavian furnishings, cool streetwear and designer gifts.