Part two of our Retail Yearbook includes the Secret Squirrel, the Least Graceful Exit and the ‘I’ll Get my Coat’ awards.
The ‘I’ll get my coat’ award for the fastest market exit – Winner: Topshop NZ
Runner-up: Kit and Ace
This UK clothing retailer went into receivership unexpectedly in early September after arriving on Kiwi shores with a bang in March 2015. Within a week of Topshop announcing its stores were to be closed, intensive sales were held; stock was cleared; doors were shut; and the company vanished from Auckland and Wellington’s high streets as if it had never existed.
Least graceful exit – Winner: Nosh
Runner-up: Pumpkin Patch
Gourmet supermarket chain Nosh went under early February after the unprofitable stores meant investment firm Veritas could not repay its $5 million ANZ bank loan. Nosh was left unsold and deadlines were pushed out until it was bought out for $4 million by the newly-created Gosh Holdings, soon renamed to Nosh Holdings. A dispute followed as one last remaining franchise owner had to be bought out to give up the business he had bought only days before its closure notice.
In June Veritas sued Nosh Holdings for late payments. Then in June, Nosh Holdings put the business up for sale again, looking for buyers to help it grow and rebrand. After a few months of quiet, a further complication reared its head. As of October 5, Nosh Holdings was in liquidation and Veritas investment group was fined by the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal for failing to immediately disclose material information relating to its agreement with ANZ over the sale of Nosh.
The ‘secret squirrel’ award for a category that’s awkward to discuss in public – Winner: Adult Toy Megastore
Runner-up: Organic Initiative menstrual products
Traditionally, shopping for adult toys and lingerie is awkward and secretive, conducted out of seedy stores in red-light districts. Wellington-based ecommerce retailer Adult Toy Megastore offers an experience that’s nothing like this, and has consequently seen such growth in demand since establishing in 2009 that it’s this year moved to a new warehouse that’s 10 times the size of its previous premises. It was also nominated for three titles in Retail NZ’s Top Shop awards.