New Zealand department store Farmers launched its Autumn/Winter 2016 collection on Friday in an Instagram-worthy Grey Lynn location. We spoke with Abby Mattock, advertising and marketing coordinator womenswear and Abe Villanueva, marketing category manager fashion to find out what the collection says about the company’s strategic direction.
Key trends represented in the new collection are related to the well-established 1970’s revival. Farmers promises moody prints and winter florals, with silhouettes including longline coats and vests, retro A-line dresses and minis, and a return to wider-leg pants.
The new stock is expected to be drip-fed into stores over this month and next. Farmers adds new drops of product on a schedule that Mattock describes as “monthly-ish”.
“We kind of always want to feed new stock onto the floor.”
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In New Zealand retail stores, Mattock says, summer fashion starts to drop off “as soon as anybody feels a bit of chill”. Villanueva believes Kiwis tend to buy in the moment for the weather conditions they’re feeling then and there: “You definitely notice a cold snap and they’re buying jackets.”
However, Villanueva cautions that what’s true for Auckland’s 17 Farmers outlets isn’t necessarily true for those in New Zealand’s regional centres, and the availability of online shopping is also influencing customer buying habits.
“You don’t have to pop into the store anymore,” he says.
Farmers has taken some time to get the majority of its SKUs online and Villanueva feels customers are still adapting. However, he says, the department store has the ability to offer “the best of both worlds” across digital and bricks and mortar.
Mattock says this year, Farmers has consolidated some of its brands. She says this means customers can now expect a more fashion-forward approach together with an improvement in quality. She is excited about a 100 percent wool coat which will be on offer next season – coats, capes and ponchos will all be big.
Farmers is also putting more emphasis on its merino offering this season, Mattock says. Women’s, men’s and children’s lines will all be pushed hard this winter.
Farmers’ key fashion brands for 2016 are: Whistle; Zest Weekend; Oliver Black; Stella; Izabel London; Wild Child.