Retail stores can often be uninspiring – merely racks upon racks of clothes.
But sometimes a brand avoids the dull and ordinary, going beyond expectations to create a space that inspires not only shoppers but also interior design enthusiasts.
Gregory has created a space in the heart of Wellington that is a showcase of clothing and interior design bliss.
For over 20 years, they have focused on “innovative clothing” that is defined by strong couture and architectural inspirations. The design of the clothing somehow reflects the fit out of the new shop.
The brand focuses on providing a luxury shopping experience with trend-led products at an accessible price point. It’s a new concept to New Zealand’s fashion market, allowing Gregory to carve out a niche for itself amongst fashion retailers.
Moving away from traditional retail models, the model they have created allows the brand to supply quality garments in limited quantities.
95% of Gregory’s clothing is manufactured in New Zealand, something that is often unheard of in today’s fast fashion industry. It's an unique aspect of the business, as it allows them to have lower minimum quantities. That translates to a fast turnaround time when reacting to strong selling styles, change of colour or fabric, as well as reducing stock-on-hand risk.
With only the clothes differentiating some retail spaces, the new Featherston St store is a prime-example of the need to stand out and be different.
“We still strongly believe that the traditional bricks and mortar, in-store shopping experience is an integral part of the business. [It] allows us to set ourselves apart from the competition,” says Kelly Maire, the brand and sales manager.
The idea of the new fit out was to strip the building back to its bare bones and reveal original elements that had been covered up to their initial condition.
A raw backdrop of concrete and marble as well as the exposed ceiling and windows allow the bolder features to come into focus, letting the clothes sell themselves.
“We try and work as much as possible with the natural elements of the particular store. The windows and ceiling have been exposed, columns reclad and returned to their original condition and where they were missing detail, that has been replicated,” says Maire.
Their signature gold racks are mixed with a mid century modern style and furniture from American designer Kelly Wearstler.
Statement furniture pieces include a mid-century modern table with a sculptural bronze base that mirrors the angular light created by a 1950s Stilnovo ceiling fixture.
Maire has heard nothing but positive feedback from customers, and says the interior of the store has become a crucial aspect of the shopping experience for customers.
At the same time, building a business in such boutique fashion means the best customer service is required, leading to an extremely selective hiring process, Maire says.
“Our mission is to provide the very best retail experience in the country from our staff to our product and store fit-outs. We want to provide a luxury shopping experience at an accessible price point,” she says.
While the new space stands out amongst others, they have created a cohesive flow between its other stores around New Zealand with the smaller details - the concrete floors, brass, marble and glass and bold accent pieces.
Gregory already has five established stores in New Zealand and hopes in the future to develop the business in offshore markets.