This week in retail property news

Vapo opens in two NZ outlets

Leading Australasian vaping brand Vapo has opened two new vaping stores – one in Auckland and one in Hamilton, NZ – for a total of 13 nationwide.

Hamilton City Council last year decided not to include vaping in its smoke-free policy, which opened the way for Vapo.

Jonathan Devery and Ben Pryor, co-owners of Vapo and Alt New Zealand, the company that makes vaping devices, say while their online stores experienced a significant lift during lockdown, growing a bricks-and-mortar retail presence for vaping is increasingly important.

Vapo, in partnership with TerraCycle, has set up a process for customers to dispose of their e-cigarette waste, devices and pods responsibly.

For every kilogram of vaping waste sent to TerraCycle, Vapo and Alt donate $1 to the charity Sustainable Coastlines, which works to keep New Zealand’s coastlines beautiful.

Mirvac launches traffic tracker

To help customers navigate busy periods at their local shopping centre, Mirvac Retail has launched a traffic tracker application, which is now available on each of its 16 centres’ websites, partly in response to Covid-19 concerns about heavy crowd periods at centres.

A page on the website under “Plan Your Trip” shows tracking data across each opening hour of the day from the previous week, on a day-by-day basis. The traffic data is presented in similar format to Facebook’s Popular Hours and Google’s Popular Times tools.

 Mirvac Retail said the app, aside from concerns about keeping the pandemic in check, will generally improve the customer experience by allowing them to plan their shopping trips better. It will also be a tool to help centre retailers better plan their time and staffing needs.

In addition to the tracker to keep people safe, several Mirvac locations that require contact to collect car park tickets have now installed contactless wave technology to activate ticket machines.

HomeCo returns to the market

Home Consortium has announced the opening of its security purchase plan (SPP), following the completion of a $140 million institutional placement on July 7.

The funds for the earlier placement were to be used to acquire three properties from Woolworths Group as well as Aurrum Erina from Aurrum Aged Care, an entity associated with David Di Pilla, executive chairman and CEO.

HomeCo is a Sydney-based and Australian-owned owner of 30 regional shopping centres across five states.

Under the current plan, eligible security holders can subscribe for up to $30,000 worth of new, fully paid, ordinary stapled shares (SPP securities) free of any brokerage, commission or transaction costs.

The offer is open to holders of fully paid ordinary stapled shares as at June 30 who have a registered address in Australia or New Zealand, but who are not in the US or acting on behalf of anyone in the US or otherwise excluded.

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