Globally recognised brand Trelise Cooper is set to take its success into Wellington with a new flagship store that will 'soft-launch' on February 25.
The store located on Featherston Street in Wellington will be the eighth flagship store opened, adding to the list of seven other flagships as well as more than 200 independent retail stockists in total.
The store itself has been in the works since October of last year, after a licensee that held the Trelise Cooper brand left the agreement, leaving the brand with an opportunity to open its own premises.
“We know we have a large following in Wellington, we wanted them to have the full flagship experience," says Dame Trelise Cooper. “We felt like we needed to open this store to fully take care of our customers.”
Trelise Cooper is often recognised for its lavish clothing and ‘Ritz-like’ sense of store, and according to Cooper, the Wellington flagship will be no exception.
"I think it will be a beautiful store. We have had put some serious investment into it and we intend it to be long term. It is a luxury Trelise store, 2017 edition.”
The store opens its doors on the 25th of this month for a ‘soft-opening’, and according to Cooper is it a necessary part of making sure things run smoothly.
“This is when we open to doors but we don’t make a big ‘hoorah’ out of it. As this is the time to test and get everything ironed out.”
According to Cooper, the Trelise Cooper store located in Parnell has been the most successful in terms of physical revenue, but says the launch of the online store in 2011 has quickly become its biggest ‘store’.
“[Parnell] has traditionally been the most successful store, and it does fantastic turnover. We have a very long history of retaining customers. But, to my deep interest, or surprise, our online store is actually our biggest retail store. And that’s kind of happened over the last two years.”
Cooper credits the convenience of online shopping as the reason it has become more popular for her customer base.
Although online shopping has grown more than she was expecting, she says there will always be a place for physical stores.
“I think brick and mortar will always be there. What we have noticed is a way in which our customer shops. How it's changed is they will look online, see what’s available, but they won’t necessarily shop online.”
The addition of the Trelise Cooper online store in 2011 was credited to her husband and business partner, Jack Cooper.
“I think we adopted an online policy because Jack insisted on it, luckily. We have had our online store since 2011. I knew from the beginning that we were never going back to the way it was, so we needed to embrace it and go with it.”
Cooper has advised retailers who stock her collections to include the option to online shop as part of their retail experience.
“As a retailer these days you need to have a combination, you need to have your bricks and mortar, but you also need to have an online store," says Cooper.
The Wellington store will hold all of the Trelise Cooper by-labels, merging and inviting all target audiences of Trelise Cooper into the single store. The store will hold the pre-fall collections, a trans-seasonal collection that will move into the winter season at the end of March.
“Within our flagship stores we have all brands; we don’t like to mix our collections together completely. It will be defined, but really what I want is someone to be captivated by a piece no matter what the brand is. The collections will be in their own distinct areas but not segregated. It will all be part of one experience.”
Dame Trelise Cooper will be flying down to Wellington for both the ‘soft’ and ‘hard-opening’ to help set up the store herself.
“I will be going down for both openings, we get hand overs from the builders at 8:30 am on Thursday beforehand, and a team of us are going to set the store up that day.”
The store will have its official launch on Tuesday March 7.