Capital's Habitual Fix outlet closes as quakes hurt business traffic

The central city business in Featherston St is outside the cordon that qualifies for a support package.

Wellington's Habitual Fix on Featherston St has been placed into liquidation after seeing a significant drop in turnover following November's earthquakes, with the government's business support package not applicable as it's not within cordoned-off areas.

Sizzlepop Ltd operated as Habitual Fix in the CBD, selling salads, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and juices to local central business district employees.

The first report by liquidators ShephardDunphy says the November earthquakes and subsequent office building closures have "had a significant negative impact on the turnover and viability of the business."

The location is close to the 15-storey Asteron Centre, which houses around 2500 staff with tenants including Inland Revenue, Callaghan Innovation and the Civil Aviation Authority, all of whom were evacuated to temporary offices following the Kaikoura earthquakes on November 14. The liquidators were appointed on December 12.

On November 28, the government had extended an employee support subsidy for quake-affected businesses, which was provided to Kaikoura businesses three days after the quake, to Wellington and Hurunui district businesses that couldn't operate due to cordons put in place.

At the time, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said he expected the package to apply to businesses on Molesworth St, Tory St and those in and around Queensgate Mall in Lower Hutt. That package was extended on December 23 and is specifically for businesses which cannot move their operations. 

Sizzlepop has an estimated $3136 in funds available, with the book value of its fixed assets at $58,050 but the cost to realise those assets undisclosed.

Subject to confirmation, the business owes $343 to secured creditors, $20,000 to Inland Revenue and $128,493 to unsecured creditors, with $105,938 of that owed to the shareholders' current account. 

Habitual Fix is franchised by the Mad Group, which also franchises the Mad Mex chain. The Habitual chain has two other stores in Wellington. 

(BusinessDesk)