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New retailer on the block Kit and Ace builds community

  • News
  • October 6, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
New retailer on the block Kit and Ace builds community

Founded by the wife and son of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, Kit and Ace has a fresh take on the mega-popular athleisure trend with its range of luxurious proprietary fibres, headed up by washable, flexible ‘technical cashmere’. Its offerings overseas have seen it focus on community-building initiatives which bring customers into the store, such as its in-store ‘supper club’ dinner parties.

Strand says the global supper clubs are about creating events which expose the attendees to new experiences, in “a forum that is not a traditional way to be introduced to a brand”. Some have been held in New Zealand but not recently – they’ll be part of the Kit and Ace plan going forward.

Currently, Strand is focusing on her ‘Chai and Cashmere’ mornings on Wednesdays. They run from 7am-11am at the label’s store at 13 Galway St, with free cups of Storm & India tea for attendees.

“I really did it to try and have a reason for people to come in, and just create a community feel,” Strand says.

“It’s such a cool morning. If I can create a space for people to get together and connect before they go to work in the morning, then that’s a lovely thing to offer.”

There's also an after-work drinks edition, 'Copper Hour'. This is held every Thursday from 5pm-6pm.

Kit and Ace has been working on its entry into New Zealand for around six months. Its strategy does not include any traditional advertising – Strand explains that the label is all about creating authentic collaboration, connecting rather than pushing itself upon consumers.

“We want people to discover and hear about it through word of mouth.”

Strand also wants to create collaborations with local brands and people, speaking of showing artwork and establishing an evening speaker series. In keeping with a key Kit and Ace value – that of respecting peoples’ time – any forthcoming event will last under an hour and a half.

That spirit of collaboration also shines through in Strand’s attitude to local competition. While its functional cashmere pieces are quite different to the more traditional 100 percent cashmere offerings currently on the market, Kit and Ace’s items also work well with pieces from other brands, Strand says. Even the staff are allowed to wear other items with their Kit and Ace gear while on the shopfloor.

Strand is currently collecting recommendations from among New Zealand retailers like Karen Walker, Kathryn Wilson and Huffer for ‘The List’, a publication which recommends the best of local food, clothing and other retail outfits to Kit and Ace’s international customers.

Kit and Ace’s future in New Zealand will depend on how the pop-up goes, Strand says: “I am really excited to get the brand fully launched into the New Zealand market, but what that looks like, only time will tell.”

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Kiwi retailers cash in on Singles’ Day

  • News
  • November 21, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Kiwi retailers cash in on Singles’ Day

The Chinese holiday Singles’ Day, popularised by Alibaba as the ’11.11 Global Shopping Festival’, is now the biggest sale event in the world. Alibaba reports that US$25.3 billion of gross merchandise volume was settled during the 24 hours of Singles’ Day this year. Not all of that went to Chinese retailers, however – a handful of Kiwis made the most of the opportunity.

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Updated: Noel Leeming launches a dedicated after-purchase services division

  • Technology
  • November 20, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Updated: Noel Leeming launches a dedicated after-purchase services division

The Warehouse Group’s electronics retailer Noel Leeming has been looking at expanding its focus on services this year. Now, it’s launched a dedicated after-purchase services division: MyTechSolution. The change also means that customers will be charged for access to Noel Leeming's helpdesk if the request goes beyond a "quick fix".

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Cameras aren’t just for security anymore

  • In Association with Axis Communications / Sektor
  • November 20, 2017
Cameras aren’t just for security anymore

In-store video cameras revolutionised loss prevention when they first became available to retailers, but as camera technology continues to evolve, they can now provide a plethora of data that supports better business decisions.

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Sale squared: Onceit talks deep discounts and sale events

  • News
  • November 20, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Sale squared: Onceit talks deep discounts and sale events

Kiwi high-end clearance ecommerce store Onceit works with more than 400 suppliers from New Zealand’s fashion, beauty and homewares industries to offload excess stock without brand damage. We had a chat with executive director Jay Goodey ahead of its once-yearly sale of sales.

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