Antony Hampsonis the brand general manager of Superdry. The UK apparel company announced in March 2019 that it will open its first New Zealand store at 101 Queen St.
Until now, Superdry hasn’t had much recognition in New Zealand. Can you describe its unique value proposition for Kiwis?
It still amazes me when I wear Superdry the continued evolution of its product and the intricate detailing that goes into each design without sacrificing quality. We have had a good presence over the past few years in New Zealand through a wide number of independent partners, and we are really excited about the prospect of bringing our first concept store to Auckland. We will be presenting the best pieces the brand has to offer with an elevated focus on jackets and fleece, not to mention an awesome snow offering!
What would you like Superdry’s presence in New Zealand to look like in five years’ time?
New Zealand has always been a part of our rollout plan and Auckland is the first of what we hope will be three to four stores across both the North and South Islands over the next five years. We are also in the process of localising our ecommerce offering in April which will improve speed of delivery and service to our customers, which is exciting. We are confident given our presence in the wholesale channels across New Zealand that there is a strong enough customer base to continue to expand our footprint in New Zealand but at the same time, we need to be pragmatic in our approach to expansion.
Superdry’s range is weighted towards cold-weather apparel like jackets. What made it launch in temperate Auckland rather than a cold-weather hub like Queenstown or Wellington?
Superdry has a wide variety of products. Although we are renowned for jackets and fleece, we also play at both ends of the product spectrum with a snow range that is going from strength to strength as well as summer product types such as beach shorts and slides. It’s fair to say we are able to curate the range according to the climate that our stores are located in. We feel like Auckland’s subtropical climate is a great fit for Superdry without being too extreme which enables us to present a wide variety of our products whilst still playing to our strengths as a brand. It’s a great city, it’s got character….as does Superdry!
Like many apparel retailers around the world, Superdry seems to be struggling to coordinate its supply chain with unpredictable weather patterns induced by climate change. What are its strategies for addressing this problem?
We need to be more conscious of the weights of our product and when we are dropping these into store. Unfortunately the weather can be unpredictable and therefore it’s important we are adaptable in our product offering. This is part of the reason why Superdry have expanded into other product lines over the years outside of just jackets, fleece and t-shirts to ensure we have the ability to present relevant product all year round. We will continue to drive the motto of presenting the right product at the right time.
Is there anything you’d like New Zealand retailers to know about Superdry’s entry into New Zealand?
I would like to think other retailers do not see the entrance of Superdry as a threat but rather a reflection on the growth and opportunity within the New Zealand market. As a brand we have a unique value proposition. We embrace individuality, we are creative and love to push the boundaries of whats possible by being bold and exciting. Our store design is testament to this… it’s exciting, fresh and modern and we hope it will add to what is already a phenomenal mix of international retailers who are present in the New Zealand market.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail issue 761 April / May 2019