Has Christchurch become a bustling Muslim Metropolis since the earthquake?

[Christchurch’s Bush Inn shopping centre is to add 30 new shops and eateries in a major expansion plan.

The mall, in Upper Riccarton, is expanding in response to a jump in shopper numbers since the earthquakes. The recent addition of new restaurants has also brought in more customers.

An artist’s impressions of the redeveloped Bush Inn shopping centre in Christchurch.

More Muslim customers?

[…] “We’ve got a lot more customers, and a different type of customer, coming in now – more younger people and more professionals. There’s definitely been a population shift.”

A Muslim type of customer?

[…] Smiths City’s existing 4500 sqm store in the mall will be reconfigured for new shops, eateries and kiosks. A new covered entranceway for both pedestrians and cars will be added, joining the new and existing buildings. New escalators will also be installed to join the retail areas. While car parking will be reconfigured, the amount of parking will not increase.

The mall is now looking for tenants for the new shops and food and drink outlets.

Bell suggested such businesses might sell wine, fruit and vegetables, organic and halal products, coffee, craft beer, juices, fashion, interiors, photography gear, luggage, gifts, crafts, or music. A childcare centre could also be included.

Wait, what? Halal products? Does Christchurch have a significant Muslim population?

New retailers could include those stocking “any unique, interesting or innovative products or services that may appeal to our customers” he said.

Is Halal, unique, interesting or innovative? Surely the only possible type of customer who would want to purchase Halal products would be a Muslim customer.

“We want independent businesses – products and retailers you don’t see elsewhere. We want to have a real point of difference. We’re very excited about it.”

I guess a business selling Halal products is considered exotic and different in Christchurch. Some have speculated that it is because of the halal freezing works down that way that employs a lot of imported Muslim workers.

 – Stuff

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