Eduardo Garcia-Tapetado, 40, is the founder of La Lola. He’s also the co-owner of Zermatt, a Spanish clothing retailer for women with 85 stores-within-stores across Spain.
La Lola will stock Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Bershka, Pull&Bear and Uterqüe, which are sister brands of Zara that are owned by Inditex.
It will also stock Mango, Trucco, Suite Blanco and Stradivarius, but Garcia-Tapetado says the shop isn’t defined by its brands, which will be interchanging.
Instead, he says the retail model is what defines La Lola, as it’s something the New Zealand market hasn’t seen before.
“We’re not about the brands, we’re about the retail system we’re implementing,” Garcia-Tapetado says.
“It’s about being to able to buy something that’s not even available in New Zealand instead of having to get into a plane and go to London, as you can get it here. That’s a retail concept that’s new to New Zealand.”
But he says he isn’t here to compete with Kiwi retailers, as La Lola a completely different concept to what they’re doing.
“I’m not competing against the established brands here in New Zealand, because they’ve got their products, their clientele,” he explains.
“There’s really awesome retailers who do a really good job, like Hallenstein Glasson, because they understand the market here. All I want to do is give the New Zealand consumer brands they cannot get for this kind of price – why go on the internet or why get on a plane when you can get it here?”
He says he also isn’t competing with international retailers coming into the New Zealand for the first time, as La Lola is a very different retail model.
He says it was difficult to get some of the bigger brands to get on board, because often New Zealand is so small it’s barely on the radar of huge companies.
However, Garcia-Tapetado says because he has many contacts within the Spanish fashion industry, he was able to convince the brands to come here via his store.
La Lola won’t be limited to Spanish brands. Garcia-Tapetado plans to expand to include brands from other countries further down the track.
As for why he chose New Zealand, he says the scarcity of Spanish brands here presented a niche opportunity.
There’s no Spanish brands here, he says, apart from a high-end jewellery company called Tous, which set up shop in Auckland’s CBD last year.
This is due to there being very few ties between New Zealand and Spain, he says.
“It’s so far away from Spain, its actually the furthest point of the world – the antipodes – as if you put a pencil through Spain, New Zealand comes out.”
La Lola will use social media (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat) to get word out about its opening.
There’s been a lot of interest in the stores already, he says, as the clothes La Lola stocks will be very different from the retail offering shoppers currently have in New Zealand.
“Spanish fashion is very colourful; very different,” he says.
Garcia-Tapetado says stock will be likely to be updated every one to weeks.
La Lola will open in Dressmart Onehunga next weekend, North Shore’s Albany in November and Dressmart in Christchurch in March 2016.
For more information, check out La Lola’s website.