Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shopping Out of The Box

Hello Shoppers out there. I am now coming to you from the other ends of the Earth, Savoring the freshest of fare and despite how far away from home I am, people are still shopping. My new locale is Middle Earth, where you may be aware that the South Island was devastated by a series of earthquakes last year. As I type this, the earth is shaking beneath my feet yet the people persevere. They have seen its inhabitants flee from the city as buildings fell and their beloved Church presently is in pieces. I have never seen anything quite like. Hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, windstorms in the Pacific Northwest have humbled me before but there is a wake left with each act of Nature. As we discovered our new city I was most amazed, as a shopping guru, by the Cashel St. Mall in Christchurch. All people must shop and this is their Re:Start of the previous and most sought after, shopping district that was located in the heart of the city.

When the quakes had their way with the town, they were at a loss for what to do but you would not know it given the new luxury shopping complex that stands today. Just look at these pictures. It is a sophisticated and ingenious design that is truly a one of a kind experience. Shipping containers are the new homes for the high end shops that make up Cashel Mall. This art-filled display tells me that the city has truly embraced all that comes out of a situation we have no control over. They will never forget and this a very positive spin on it all. I simply love it.

My standout is Ballantynes where you will find the best of the best offered in a department store format. Normally, I shy away from this shopping experience because it is sometimes overwhelming for me as a shopper. Ballantynes does department store on small scale only offering the highest quality products keeping the selection small but very choice. A perk: They offer local delivery perfect for a rainy shopping day with the children and you cannot drag all of that wetness into the car.  I have just checked out their site and it is clean and simple even offering a bit more than the store in some departments. From soft as silk New Zealand wool to Chanel miracle creams, this store is my new bestie. I was not here before the City Center befell the unfortunate quakes but today, this is a site to be seen. I have shopped all over the world, including of course America where the shopping mall was perfected, and the people of Christchurch should be proud. Proud that there is certainly nothing like this on earth. You would have to see it to really get a feel for it.

The Cashel Restart is a brilliant shopping experience fit with lush garden pieces decorating the gorgeously inviting outside atmosphere and European-style customer service that will have you coming back again and again. To witness how people are able to use what is available around them and create something like this mall makes me feel very lucky to have experienced it. (They take Eco-Luxury to a whole new level here.) Shopping is not the same on the other side of the world and with Cashel Mall, it is better.

Street performers of all sorts set the tone for a day of luxury shopping.

Cheers & Happy Shopping!

All original photos by K. Rodriguez and Saks to Salvation.