Bricks and mortar
Hottest in-store experience
Providing traditional food from Italy, Spain and France, Auckland store Sabato is a step into the European food scene. Sabato has been first to introduce many key ingredients to the New Zealand market, while constantly making new additions to its range.
The store, both physical and online, has an amazing range of traditional ready to eat and prepared items. As well as providing the ingredients, Sabato will also show shoppers how to best use them – with cooking classes, cheese and wine evenings, and market days.
Evolution Cycles has New Zealand's biggest range of bikes, and when it comes to bikes they are the experts. The store offers over 250 different styles and types of bike, with experts around to give shoppers on-the-spot advice for any questions. With seven stores across the country, Evo Cycles also offers a wide range of accessories and clothing for bike enthusiasts.
Wellington gourmet grocer Moore Wilson’s is renowned for stocking a staggering selection of food from around New Zealand and overseas. It is the go-to place for everything from freeze-dried pineapple powder to Malaysian cooking caramel Karamel Makasan.
The store sells a large selection of bulk foods, as well as finer artisanal products. The multi-storied building also stocks products such as bulk glassware and crockery for the hospitality trade.
A fourth-generation family-run business, Moore Wilson’s offers an array of options from locally produced artisan chocolates, cheeses and other specialist goods to rotisserie chicken, freshly squeezed orange juice, cut flowers and fresh baked bread.
Caughley is a Wellington-based boutique offering apparel and accessories from around the world. It inhabits a sunny double-storey black building in the heart of Wellington's Ghuznee Quarter. The striking black shop front is a hint at what is inside; stylised, modern pieces.
Enthusiastic staff are on hand for help with their wide range of brands and new trends of the season. At Caughley, each brand has a strong and meaningful story, and is sourced directly from New Zealand and international designers.
Family-focused lifestyle brand Tea Pea is a curator of premium products with both a physical and online presence. Its design-lead stores hold a winning mix of sought-after brands and tactile goods of colour and quality.
Each day in Tea Pea is described as a jam-packed mix of the latest round velvet cushions, Icelandic sheepskins and rattan daybeds, football, princesses, and gifts. Whether customers are shopping in-store or online, they can expect friendly and knowledgeable staff to help and inspire.
Global Baby prides itself on knowing its large range of products inside and out. The store is a wonderland of infant necessities, with keen on hand staff available to help with safety and instructions on all different products.
For baby gift ideas and occasions, the store offers advice and gift wrapping – all available in less than 10 minutes. The Newmarket location stocks everything from strollers and cribs, to the smaller items of gifts and clothing.
Smith and Caughey’s:
One of New Zealand’s brightest high-end department stores, Smith and Caughey is renowned for its personal approach and attention to detail. A high level of customer service remains its top priority and customer satisfaction is held in the highest regard. The store delivers on its promise of quality products from a select range of luxury brands
The dedication to ensuring a memorable customer experience, a sense of intimacy and the highest quality of goods on offer at Smith & Caughey’s allows the business to flourish.
Luxury design store Bello is a gift and homeware store offering luxurious home accessories, glassware, jewellery, toys and premium fine gifts. Whether shoppers are buying a gift for a friend or choosing a piece for their own home, Bello offers a wide range of ideas, from Italian Carrara towels to Henry Dean glassware from Belgium.
77 Art + Living:
Described as offering textural delight, 77 Art + Living is an art gallery that sells an eclectic range of original art and objects, including, jewellery, ceramics, glass, photography and boutique fragrance. Owned by lovers of art, from an artistic background, those in the gallery are knowledgeable on each piece and how best to inspire those browsing the collections.
Little Red Fox:
Based in the small town of Fairlie, Little Red Fox is a fashion brand working at introducing new exciting brands as well as bringing the best from existing brands. With big brand names under its roof, including the likes of Minx, Ricochet, Superdry, Elwood, Love Knot War, Mons Royale, Garcia, Status Anxiety, and Quay Eyewear, the Little Red fox is a large player in a small pond.
McDonald’s is well known for its fast food, but the chain has recently increased its instore experience with new technology. Customers can now use touchscreens to create, order and pay for food exactly to their preference, making meals completely customisable without their having to even approach the register. Most stores have also been recently renovated to suit modern tastes.
When you get customers lining up overnight for the opening of your store you can bet that there are high expectations to be met. Luckily for Kiwi make-up fans, luxury cosmetics company Mecca Maxima didn’t disappoint. Its sleek and classy Queen St store brings shoppers the brands they know and love with the help of full-time beauty experts.
Targeting every shopper demographic from seasoned interior designers to new homeowners, Citta Design has become the go-to for homewares and accessories. The company may be based in Auckland, but its understated Newmarket showroom and contemporary designs couldn’t be more Scandinavian in their classy simplicity.
Parker & Co.
When one brings to mind all things fashionable and classy, glasses aren’t often at the top of the list. Parker & Co.’s Newmarket boutique is here to change that. Whether customers wander in from the street or book a personal style session, the designer eyewear company’s simple showroom and expert staff help customers find the perfect frames for their style and budget.
You may have never been in one of the stores, but you’ll probably know its scent. The fragrance of its essential-oil-powered products combines together and drifts out of every store, luring shoppers in for hands-on demonstrations and skilful sales. The UK-owned cosmetics store has four market-style outlets in Auckland filled with stacks of every bath accessory imaginable, marked with hand-drawn chalkboard signs and of course, that unmistakable aroma.
In-house baristas, wine-tasting machines, butchers who prepare shoppers’ meat on the spot and a focus on fresh farmed produce? New World’s Fresh Collective stores are giving customers a lot to be excited about, with Mt Albert and Mairangi Bay outlets bringing the focus back to fresh, organic produce and healthy prepared meals.
The Wine Cave
With New Zealand’s strong international reputation for fine wine, some say it was only a matter of time before some savvy connoisseur opened up a specialist space devoted to high-end wine retail. Enter The Wine Cave, an underground bottle shop with a tasting area; multi-purpose warehouse space for functions; and an expert team of specialists to talk shoppers through their humble selection of 435 wines, 60 spirits and numerous craft beers. Of course, that’s not counting what’s hidden in the exclusive wine vault...
Health nuts, eco-warriors and hipsters alike were given something to celebrate this February when wholefood refillery, Goodfor, opened a second store in Parnell. New Zealand’s first upmarket zero plastic, bulk wholefoods store encourages customers to bring their own glass jars and paper-bags for purchases. Their enormous success proving that with a little zeitgeist and beautiful branding, even bulk-buying produce can be made cool.
Frankie Did It
Tucked into the base of the Southern Alps, children’s lifestyle boutique, Frankie Did It is most certainly worth a mention. Set up by mother and businesswomen Katrina Rodwell, the store has a focus on handmade and unique products, stocking over 37 small or parent-run brands from around New Zealand.
Barkers Chop Shop
Menswear retailer Barkers has decided to take the guesswork out of looking good for Newmarket shoppers with the opening of its ‘Chop Shop’. Situated on Nuffield St, customers can shop a range of suits and accessories, or book in for a tailored haircut and edgy cut-throat shave. Decked out with concrete floors, exposed ceilings and motorcycle helmets hanging on the walls, it nails the immersive ‘boys club’ experience from head to toe, and even serves whisky.
The Department Store
If you take the traditional department store experience and modernise it, you’re probably pretty close to describing The Department Store. In 2009 fashion designer Karen Walker and Black Box Boutique retailer Dan Gosling wanted to create a single environment that brought together world’s best design, beauty and fashion in a collaborative and multi-dimensional way. Designed by the talented Katie Lockhart, the three levels bring shoppers a varied yet seamless experience lead by three key businesses, Karen Walker, Black Box and Stephen Marr, with dozens of smaller labels scattered in between. The Takapuna retailer managing to catch some international recognition back in 2010 after being featured in the exclusive international culture magazine ‘Monocle’.
Ah, Giapo. After having an almost permanent line running out of it little Queen St store for seven years straight, Auckland’s infamous ice-cream parlour has moved to a bigger and better location. The sleek black and gold store brings customers the same unimaginable flavours and edible artworks with the added luxury of table service. Take a seat either indoor or outdoor, try to pick just one item from their menu, and the ice-cream is constructed out back before being brought right to you. With flavours like prawn cocktail, afghan cookie and giant squid, it’s not exactly your ordinary ice-cream shop.
Shoppers might go into a T2 store for the free samples but they’ll stay for the sensory in-store experience. The chain of boutique tea stores offers a delicious and interactive environment where open tins of tea blends can be sniffed and compared by shoppers, and are grouped by flavour and scent on large tables. However, a great in-store experience is only as good as the staff, who, at T2 are taught an approach to customer engagement wittily named LEAF: learning about customer needs; exploring products with them; adding value through advice and samples; and forever making them want to return by signing them up to the loyalty program.
A bookshop seems like a pretty straightforward store experience, but the independently owned Unity Books makes finding that perfect novel feel all the more special. With two sister-stores in Wellington and Auckland, Unity Books is famous for having one of the best collections of obscure, interesting and unusual books in the country. Priding themselves on being ‘expert book hunters’, the passionate staff can probably find that book you’re looking for in-store, but if not, are dedicated to sourcing it from wherever they need to.