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Last days of a downtown mall (NZ Herald) - by Catherine Gaffaney

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(This article has been published on NZ Herald on Sunday, 22 May 2016, link to the article here.)

Photo / Michael Craig

Prices have been slashed at Auckland's only downtown shopping mall as retailers try to get rid of their stock this week before the centre closes after 41 years.

City workers will be offered deals at Downtown Shopping Centre, formerly Westfield Downtown, such as jeans at a third of the price and "50 per cent off their already reduced price", shops say.

The centre at the bottom of Queen St is closing this Saturday to make way for a $550 million 36-level glass tower.

In February, NZX-listed Precinct Properties released details for the skyscraper and a deal to pay Auckland Council $27.2 million for part of Queen Elizabeth Square in February.

Precinct aims to begin building next year and has also struck a deal with Auckland Transport so tunnels for the City Rail Link can be built underneath.

Several retailers have been selling their products at reduced prices for the past few weeks, with more reductions coming this week.

They're advertising online daily deals at "retro prices".

Michele Richards, a senior saleswoman at homeware store Stevens, said they had significant price reductions in store.

"We're a clearance store so the prices are already low but in the past five weeks, we've been selling things at 50 per cent off their already reduced price," she said.

"We're getting more stock in because we've been absolutely flat tack."

Stevens is opening a new store on Little High St in the CBD.Hartleys Fashion Downtown attendant Una Smith said several of their garments are on sale.

"The best deal is our Verge jeans which were $135 and are now $39.95," she said.

"Lots of people have been coming in and taking advantage of the sales."

Hartleys wouldn't be opening another store elsewhere, she said.

David Tasker Designer Jewellery manager Jenny Concepcion said all their jewellery was on sale.

"Everything's been on sale for the past four weeks," she said.

"We're still looking for a new premise to move our jewellery to."

Some retailers such as Lotsa Goodies which are moving to new premises don't have sales, however.

Acting manager Lisa Cun said they didn't have any sales.

"We're moving all our products to stores we have at other shopping centres so everything's remained the same price."

Downtown Shopping Centre

• Formerly Westfield Downtown, at the bottom of Queen St
• Closes Saturday after 41 years
• Redeveloped by Precinct Properties and replaced by
$550m tower

- NZ Herald

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