Iconic Christchurch camera and video store closing after 42 years

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 19, 2023 |

The iconic camera and video business Hanafins is closing its doors after serving the Christchurch community for 42 years.

The store at Westfield Riccarton Mall has been a popular destination for photographers and video-makers.

The original store, which started operating in 1981, was destroyed in the 2011 Earthquakes.

The category-one heritage-listed Fisher’s building was a Christchurch heritage landmark.

Fisher’s Building on 15 October 2004. Exterior of the Fisher’s building, corner of Hereford and High Street. Photo Credit: Greg O’Beirne

Speaking with Chris Lynch Media, Hanafins Camera and Video owner Lawry Hanafin said the shop’s lease expired this month, and was going to be too expensive to renew.

“Westfield Riccation has a large number of people all under one roof, which has made it a great place to be, but it’s just become unsustainable.

“We want to express our gratitude for our customers’ unwavering support throughout our years of operation.”

Mr Hanafin said the photo and video industry has changed significantly since starting out over four decades ago.

“People don’t buy cameras anymore, only the enthusiasts have been keeping the shop going.

“The big box stores are undercutting us by a huge margin, making it very difficult to keep competitive prices.”

Customers buying print canvasses have been keeping the business alive in recent years, along with providing a passport photo operation which has proved successful,

“Yesterday we took 45 passport photos, we were very busy. Each year, we take thousands of photos for people.”

One longtime customer of Hanafins told Chris Lynch Media they were sad to hear of the closure, and said the shop was often the place to go before the digital age.

“The cellphone has now taken over the amateur photography market, which is a shame.

“I often visited Hanafins to get my photos developed, it was quite a specialist procedure and they were the main business in Christchurch which did that.”

Mr Hanafin said loyal customers have been flying down to Christchurch before the store finally closes.

“I’ve just been truly amazed at the response.

“We would also like to extend a special thanks to our incredible staff over the last 42 years, who have been the backbone of Hanafins with their hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment. It has been a pleasure to work alongside them.”

The store will officially close at 6pm on Wednesday 21st June.

“As we prepare to close our Riccarton store there will be a 50% discount on most of our remaining stock, Mr Hanafin said.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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