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Bigger isn’t always better, says growing business

May 22nd, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

VOLUMES of core retail sales have dropped in the March quarter, the largest seasonally adjusted decrease since measurement began in 1995.

Excluding vehicle-related industries, sale volumes in core retail, such as supermarket and grocery stores, Liquor and accommodation have dropped 2.5%, says Statistics New Zealand retail sales series.

This record drop follows the boost that the Rugby World Cup brought in the last two quarters of 2011 along with 133,200 visitors to New Zealand.

The cup hangover has included a 5% drop in accommodation for the quarter, however this not been a factor for the new Gourmet Stay Boutique Hotel is located in Frederick St, Wellington.

Business is booming according to hotel owner Lucy Miller, pictured above.

“It’s a funny little street, Frederick St. You think that there’s nothing going on when you look at it, but actually there are quite a few little businesses.”

She says Gourmet Stay Hotel hasn’t been affected by the sales drop because they didn’t see as much of the sales boost during the cup.

“We started last July just before the cup, so we missed the big group of tourists. But since we opened we’ve just continued to get stronger and stronger.”

She says a range of people visit the hotel, 80% of which are Europeans.

“We get a lot of Europeans because we’re joined with Booking.com, the booking site most Europeans use,” she says.

Gourmet Stay has recently connected to Agooda.com. This is an Asian accommodation booking website, so Mrs Miller says they are expecting Asian tourists sometime in the next few months.

“Business people and corporate groups, such as nurses, also stay at Gourmet Stay when they are in town.”

The hotel is supported by locals, who not only stay in the hotel, but also enjoy the café that is located downstairs.

The hotel began as a warehouse, and the top floor was added later. Mrs Miller and her family lived upstairs until her children left home.

Mrs Miller says eventually the building was too big for her family. So they decided to start a business in the accommodation industry.

“We started right when the recession started. That was a bit scary. The banks weren’t too keen on us having more debt, but they are a bit happier now, and we’ve managed to meet all the costs.”

There are 10 rooms in the hotel and the hotel can house up to 25 people. It opened in July 2011.

At the peak of the cup, accommodation rose 9.2% to $698 million, and dropped later to 659 million.

The drop in accommodation was overshadowed by supermarket sales volumes, which fell 7.4%.

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