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'It's been such a struggle'

Blake Benny
Souvenirs at the Square  Blake Benny

Souvenir shop sets up online shop to survive lack of tourists.

Souvenirs in the Square store manager Neda Hosseini said Covid-19 had dealt a major blow to the business.

The family business was relying on Kiwi tourists and its local community for its survival, Hosseini said. But it was extremely difficult to adjust.

"For 20-odd years we have been in souvenirs, so I know all about that. But I don't know anything about the local market and catering for locals... It's been such a struggle, when Kiwis come in I do ask them: 'What are you after? What are you looking for?'"

Hosseini was trying to stay positive and said the community support had been "heartwarming".

The business was pressing ahead with plans to move to a bigger store on Colombo St.

"We are trying to keep positive, and are still going ahead with it."

It was also in the process of setting up an e-commerce website. "This is the time to go online." Hosseini said.