ChargedAs’ phone charging station partner Southmall Shopping Centre got a brilliant write-up by a leading New Zealand news site this week for the vital role it plays at the heart of the local community in South Auckland.

In an article headlined “Covid-19: South Auckland shoppers shun the city in favour of community spending,” Stuff journalist Troels Sommerville writes that “all 60 businesses in the centre emerged on the other side of the second lockdown intact and ready to trade.”

“It’s a noticeable contrast to the fortunes of shops in Auckland’s CBD, where the streets and, more importantly, the businesses, are far less packed than they were this time in 2019,” Sommerville notes.

“While Southmall managed to navigate two lockdowns successfully, the blueprint for its resilience was drawn up seven years ago, when shop owners decided to take control of their own destiny.”

This is when shop owners who comprised the body corporate “decided to rid themselves of their centre management and put their own man, Neil Punja, in charge,” Sommerville adds.

ChargedAs has watched this mall — one of New Zealand’s oldest — become reinvigorated under Neil’s leadership. He and his team have built the shopping centre up into a flourishing community community hub.

It’s so important, politicians including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Greens co-leader Marama Davidson and former deputy prime minister Winston Peters visited Southmall in October, ahead of the 2020 election.

Neil was the first shopping centre manager in New Zealand to realise the potential of our phone charging service as an essential amenity that drives footfall, traffic and spend.

He understands the importance of customer experience and the role it plays in building brand trust. As well as a secure phone charging station, Southmall also provides massage chairs, a children’s play area, and much more.

ChargedAs has been working with Southmall in a business partnership for nearly three years now — almost as long as our phone charging solutions company has existed for.

We’re proud to be a part of this thriving community and couldn’t be happier to see Southmall bounce back from lockdown, and look forward to seeing what Neil and his team does next!