The past year has seen a number of international retailers either express interest in or enter New Zealand. As our only significant neighbour, Australia is uniquely positioned to utilise our market, supported by the soon-to-open David Jones store in Wellington.
Australian designer footwear brand, Wittner, has announced its entry into the New Zealand retail market with a 250 square metre flagship space within the David Jones store on Lambton Quay.
Wittner will open with its first New Zealand store within David Jones when the department store opens on the 28th July, heralding a landmark 85 retail locations for the brand. The launch will coincide with the brand’s spring collection.
Wittner CEO, Peter Wittner says: “The New Zealand customer presents an incredible opportunity for the Wittner brand and we could think of no better position than in the heart of fashion-conscious Wellington to place our first flagship. We already know that we have a strong customer base in New Zealand with our online growth seeing significant contribution from NZ customers, who often tell us they would love to see us open a retail store.”
The likes of David Jones and Wittner entering the New Zealand market add to a string of international retailers extending their offering to our shores.
Australia itself has clearly seen a strong opportunity with R.M.Williams, Seed, and The Good Guys all opening stores from their home across the Tasman. The latter exited the market permanently in 2014 after strong competition from more established electronic retailers in the market.
Target Australia made its presence known without the opening of a physical store, instead opting for a digital offering through Trade Me. The move has allowed the retailer to offer over 10,000 clothing items without having to be physically present.
It joins the likes of Cotton On, Countdown, and Witchery, who have all had years in their respective industries in New Zealand.
It’s not only Australia deciding to make the most of the New Zealand market, with brands from Europe and Britain crossing the equator to set up shop.
Iconic British fashion brand Topshop opened a flagship store on Auckland’s Queen St in March last year while Spanish retailer Zara, Swedish retailer H&M, and Canadian athleisure brand Kit and Ace all set to open stores in New Zealand.
Not all retail roads are pointing towards New Zealand, however, with major Kiwi-founded jewellery retailer Michael Hill moving its operations across the ditch to benefit from listing on the stock exchange in its most lucrative market, Australia. The company operates 168 stores across Australia as well as 14 Emma & Roe stores.