In a sign of untapped global demand for Kiwi brands, Greenberg says Amazon has reported “a ton” of unfulfilled searches for key brands from Australia and New Zealand. He believes this popularity is connected to positive associations connected to Australia and New Zealand by those in other countries – essentially, it means New Zealand Inc is in good health.
“Our real future is in quality brands with a good story to tell.”
Australian label Black Milk is one brand he cited as capitalising on its opportunities globally, as well as Cotton On.
“It’s still very much in front of us, in my view.”
Greenberg says a key risk to expanding globally is not doing it quick enough. The horror stories about global expansion, such as Harvey Norman’s foray into Ireland, mostly happened more than 10 years ago, and it’s a different world now. The internet gives companies the ability to target new territory online before investing in a physical footprint.
Asked his opinion on recent research indicating New Zealand and Australian retailers are behind the international standard regarding adaption to omnichannel, Greenberg says he disagrees.
He has just returned from the New York retail conference, Retail’s Big Show, and says what he saw there was comparable to Australian and New Zealand efforts. Retailers are doing “pretty well” by offering multiple touchpoints for shoppers.
Greenberg feels all retailers could stand to work harder, however: “I think retail globally is somewhat behind the shopper.”
It’s important for both pureplay brands and bricks-and-mortar-only players to “end the honeymoon”, Greenberg says: “Whether you call yourself online-only or bricks and mortar, you’re both behind the eight-ball because they’re both single channels.”
He feels that overall, brands based locally are offering a better end-to-end experience than the internationals.
Asked if he sees a significant difference between the way Australians and New Zealanders approach retail, Greenberg speaks of a paradox: “We live in a borderless world with regional distractions.”
In his opinion, New Zealand has a wonderful reputation domestically for nimble, agile companies. Greenberg feels Australian retailers tend to be larger than their Kiwi counterparts and often cannot move as quickly as they should.
The shop.kiwi line-up can be viewed at Retail NZ's website here.