Last chance – only one more week for TRM inmates and other visitors to select their favourite retail therapy shop in Turangi. The winner(s?) will be announced before Queens Birthday weekend.
Apologies to anglers – some were anxious to nominate their favourite tackle shops – but they have been excluded. Tackle shops are a recognised sick addiction catering to fishos, so their inclusion would not be fair to all the other retail businesses. Turangi must be unique in providing three extraordinary fishing tackle shops for such a small town. Also factor in the dark side – an unknown number of others competing by providing flies and fishing gear etc over the web. For a cute little tourist town of less than 3,000, this is remarkable. Overkill?
Everywhere around the world traditional retail shops are closing due to competition from internet sales. So is “Retail Therapy” in Turangi remotely possible? SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed manages everything at TRM including guest feedback reviews) has always claimed that Turangi is unique. Based on the feedback, She may be correct.
Turangi has more than the usual share of vacant shops as the 1960’s time warp architectural dream, aka “CBD” mall, was originally designed for a resident population of about 10,000, but now about 30-40% of the housing “stock” are usually vacant as anglers’ holiday homes. During peak holiday times (Queens Birthday weekend?) the population swells to over 10,000 when other touristy holiday towns nearby add to the congestion. These settlements include Pukawa, Omori, Kuratau, Motuoapa, etc.
I should confess… the sad truth is some of us oldies struggle to understand “retail therapy”? I certainly do not qualify to comment but have been told to count my blessings as SWMBO has a masters degree in retail therapy. She is certain that if She buys something cheap She is saving money. Indeed, if they are near half price She buys two to help the economy?. When the motel pressures get too tough, the tough go shopping. She admits to being a hopeless “shopaholic” – shop till you drop – but refuses help. Shopping is definitely Her best medicine – cheaper than therapy – and She loves “emotional” shopping. Go for it SWMBO. She can’t get into too much trouble in Turangi…
That is why She promotes the “T2T” (Taupo to Turangi) bike trail concept. When the Council wake up and invest in a tourist bike trail around the lake to link Turangi with Taupo, then the local economy will recover and the surplus vacant shops will fill up. More for SWMBO. In the meantime, the only hope on the horizon to increase
Back to this much anticipated TRM Retail Therapy competition (?) – it was restricted to real “tourists” or anglers’ wives/partners to select which shop consistently gives them the best buzz. OK? Supermarkets are excluded – that is compulsory survival for the fittest – not emotional shopping. OK?. This competition is for tourist style casual shopping or what SWMBO refers to as essential “retail therapy”. The early feedback was so unexpected but exposure has been delayed as SWMBO had previously advised we would announce the winner at the end of May.
Last year TRM held a similar poll on which was the best coffee. This was hotly contested as so many had their firm favourites. The clear cafe winner was similarly unexpected – of all places – at RaftingNZ headquarters. That also illustrates how many TRM inmates go rafting.
So watch this space next week when, due to the internet and huge facebook exposure, the winning retail shop will become instantly world famous in NZ. Well, Turangi at least. Thank you to the inmates and tourist contributors and enthusiastic locals who contributed to my scanty knowledge of retail therapy in the Republic of Turangi.
If you have persevered this far, you will enjoy my favourite response during TRM’s cafe census poll. An American fisho arrived at TRM for a week’s fishing. When booking in he declared his morning coffee fix was very important and asked who had the best coffee?. We sent him off to the nearest cafe assuming he would be satisfied but on the first morning, he returned to complain that was not what he regarded as coffee! So Plan B was hatched for the next morning. The result was the same, so we sent him to six other cafes with Plan C, D, E, F, G, H before we gave up on being able to satisfy his Yankee caffeine craving. Then on the last day he was booking out and announced – he had made a huge discovery – he had discovered the perfect coffee in Turangi. Burgerking! $1 per cup. Who would have chosen them? So sometimes we can’t win.
PS – response from Shirley: “do you know that Opshopping is a serious sport..its mainly women but not always..the challenge is how many Opshops can you fit in a day! There are Opshop Tours! Turangi could promote its Opshops more!!”