University of Oulu

Dyason, D., Fieger, P., Prayag, G., & Hall, C. M. (2022). The Triple Blow Effect: Retailing in an Era of Disasters and Pandemics—The Case of Christchurch, New Zealand. Sustainability, 14(3), 1779.

The triple blow effect : retailing in an era of disasters and pandemics : the case of Christchurch, New Zealand

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Author: Dyason, David1,2; Fieger, Peter3,4; Prayag, Girish5;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
2TRADE Research Entity, School of Economic Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
3School of Education, Federation University, Mount Helen, VIC 2351, Australia
4Business School, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
5Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, UC Business School, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
6Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
7Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Campus Helsingborg, Lund University, 25108 Helsingborg, Sweden
8Ekonomihögskolan, Linnéuniversitet, Universitetskajen, Landgången 6, 39182 Kalmar, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-11


In the last two decades, the retail sector has experienced unprecedented upheaval, having severe implications for economic development and sustenance of traditional inner-city retail districts. In the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, this effect has been exacerbated by a series of earthquakes in 2010/2011 which destroyed much of the traditional retail precinct of the city. After extensive rebuild activity of the city’s infrastructure, the momentum of retailers returning to the inner city was initially sluggish but eventually gathered speed supported by increased international visitation. In early 2020, the return to retail normality came to an abrupt halt after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study uses spending and transaction data to analyze the compounding impact of the earthquake’s aftermath, shift to online shopping, and the retail disruption in the Christchurch central retail precinct because of COVID-19. The findings illustrate how consumers through their spending respond to different types of external shocks, altering their consumption patterns and retail mode (offline and online) to cope with an ever-changing retail landscape. Each event triggers different spending patterns that have some similarities but also stark differences, having implications for a sustainable and resilient retail industry in Christchurch. Implications for urban retail precinct development are also discussed.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 14
Issue: 3
Article number: 1779
DOI: 10.3390/su14031779
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (