Popping over the road

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Skelts Jewellers owner Ashely Harris outside the new premises in Esk St.

Businesses in Invercargill’s central block earmarked for demolition are struggling to find suitable sites to relocate to, but Skelts Jewellers is not one of them.

Owner Ashley Harris said he had found the “ideal” site across the street from his present store, in a shop previously occupied by Goody Two Shoes.

The business is currently located on the south side of Esk St on the corner of the Cambridge Place Arcade, where it has been for about 30 years.

Mr Harris said the new site was ideal because the entire operation could be located on the ground floor, with good workshop space for manufacturing and engraving.

Skelts Jewellers will officially open in the new location on Monday.

“We want our existing customers and new customers to come and take a look at our new shop,” he said.

Skelts Jewellers is relocating because the inner city block bordered by Tay, Kelvin, Esk and Dee Sts has been bought by HWCP Management Ltd, which plans to convert it into a covered retail precinct.

The concept of what HWCP was doing would be “magnificent” for Invercargill, he said, but retailers were going to struggle for the next few years while construction was going on.

“But we have to take the good with the bad. What is happening is going to be great for Invercargill.

“This should have happened 20-odd years ago.”

Mr Harris had been a jeweller for 40 years.

He has owned Skelts Jewellers for more than 30 years, about 20 years in a partnership and 12 years on his own.

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