The head of Ballantynes Department Store in Christchurch says many businesses are suffering as a result of the September earthquake and the Boxing Day series of aftershocks has made the situation worse.
Managing director Richard Ballantyne says the main earthquake and its aftershocks have cost Ballantynes several hundred thousand dollars in damage to contents.
The Boxing Day aftershocks resulted in reduced sales and the store remains closed.
Mr Ballantyne says the city mall has been closed for the day and some older buildings adjacent to Ballantynes have been cordoned off.
He is relieved that none of the 200 staff or 500 customers in the store at the time, were harmed.