D.I.C. (department store)

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The D.I.C. Building in Christchurch that was used by the department store between 1908 and 1978[1]

The D.I.C. (originally the Drapery and General Importing Company of New Zealand Ltd) was a New Zealand department store chain, founded in Dunedin by Bendix Hallenstein in 1884.[2][3]

It was bought out by one of its chief rivals, Arthur Barnett, in the 1980s.[4] The site of the company's former headquarters and flagship store is now occupied by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Prior to its takeover by Arthur Barnett, the D.I.C had stores in the following locations. Unless stated, they were rebranded as Arthur Barnett/D.I.C. eventually closing in 1991:

  • Dunedin, corner of The Octagon and Princes Street (original store - closed in 1991)
  • Invercargill (rebranded Arthur Barnett, then Farmers Trading Company)
  • Christchurch, Cashel Street (opened in 1885, burned down in 1908 and rebuilt, merged with Beath's department store in 1978 and shifted into their premises, rebranding as Arthur Barnett/D.I.C, then again as Arthur Barnett, and closed in 2005)[1]
  • Wellington, Lambton Quay. Built 1928 on the site of the former D.I.C store, closed early 1980's. Building refurbished as the Harbour City Centre which opened March 1985. the Harbour City Centre is a registered Category 2 heritage landmark. The six-storey steel and concrete frame building consists of 2 stories of retail and 4 stories of offices.
  • Palmerston North (former Milne & Choyce store and now the Palmerston North City Library)(Closed 1992)[5]
  • Wanganui
  • Hamilton - converted to the Central Library in Garden Place, which opened on 20 March 1993[6]
  • Napier
  • Lower Hutt, High St.
  • Rotorua
  • Pakuranga
  • Takapuna
  • Central Auckland (formerly George Court & Sons)


  1. ^ a b "Cashfields". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  2. ^ "TheDrapery and General Importing Company of New Zealand Ltd". Otago Witness. 1890-10-30. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  3. ^ Brookes, Barbara Lesley; Cooper, Annabel; Law, Robin (2003). Sites of gender: women, men and modernity in Southern Dunedin, 1890-1939. Auckland University Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-86940-305-8.
  4. ^ "Christchurch retailer Arthur Barnett to close". New Zealand Herald. 2006-02-01. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
  5. ^ Laurenson, Helen (2010-03-10). "Department stores and shopping malls - Decline and survival". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  6. ^ Downs, Jeff (2009). "Hamilton City Libraries 1980-2009 A Brief History" (PDF).