Christchurch shopping centre reopens

1:17 pm on 26 December 2011

The Palms Shopping Centre in the east of Christchurch reopened on Monday, having been given the all-clear by structural engineers.

The mall in the suburb of Shirley had to close on Friday, one of the busiest days of the year, when a series of strong earthquakes sent stock crashing to the floor and shoppers running for the doors.

Retailers were keen to see the Palms open again on Boxing Day to make up for lost sales in the lead-up to Christmas.

Following the February quake, the mall had been forced to shut its doors for seven months and retailers had been relying on a good Christmas to make up for a slow year.

All but one of the Palms' carparking ramps have been declared safe and staff have been working furiously over the past three days to clean up in time for the opening.

The only city shopping centre that remained shut on Monday was Eastgate Mall in Linwood, where repairs to superficial damage were still underway.

Eftpos provider Paymark reported a 17.5% drop in sales in Christchurch on Friday compared with the same day a year ago.