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Two minutes with: R.M. Williams' Raju Vuppalapati

  • News
  • September 21, 2016
  • Sarah Dunn
Two minutes with: R.M. Williams' Raju Vuppalapati

R.M.Williams is opening flagship stores in New York City, London, Auckland and Wellington this year. Most people wouldn’t view our biggest city and our capital as logical follow-ons from the first two centres – how does New Zealand fit into R.M.Williams’ global strategy?
 

It is important for us to be ale to share the unique craftsmanship of R.M.Williams along with its heritage with the world. We have been watching New Zealand’s economy including the growth in GDP, house prices, and retail and feel it is an environment that will continue to strengthen, and that is something we want to be a part of.

Also, with the often-tough climate conditions of New Zealand it is the perfect environment for R.M.Williams product. Our products are purposely built from the boots up, to last a lifetime and can endure the harsh conditions of then Australian outback.

Some global retail companies have used New Zealand as a test market for products which are later rolled out worldwide. Is R.M.Williams likely to pursue this approach?
 

Not at this stage, the offering of R.M.Williams product in both our Wellington and Auckland stores will reflect the availability in the Australian market.

Our New Zealand stores will carry an extensive collection of our best products including the newly introduced burnished leather ‘Craftsman’ boot for men, the stylish lace up ‘Rickaby’ boot, new women’s ‘Adelaide’ boot, iconic handmade plaited belts, crafted leather wallets, accessories, along men’s and women’s apparel.

They will also carry R.M.Williams’ new ‘Bespoke’ service. Our Bespoke service allows customers to create their own unique pair of Craftsman or Adelaide boots. 

I understand R.M.Williams is targeting new demographics with a wider footwear and apparel offer. Can you tell us a bit about these products, and the consumer trends that are driving demand for them?
 

When designing new product we are looking to the heritage of R.M.Williams for inspiration and interpreting it in a contemporary way to offer our customers exciting new product. For example, in our SS17 collection the brand’s ‘Rider’ denim jacket has been given new life, coming in a washed-and-worn style as well as ridged black denim, and also modern, sueded leather.

As the brand has embarked on a global-expansion strategy, we need to be offering apparel and footwear for our global customer that is suited to diverse tastes.

The brand’s global styling will reflect the preferences of the global market, while also reflecting the rugged and dependable look that has always characterised R.M.Williams, which is the heart of the brand’s appeal.

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 745 August/September 2016

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Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

Simon Moutter has just wrapped up a seven-year tenure at telecommunications company Spark. Under his rein, the changes the company has gone through are nothing short of radical, from its name (Telecom to Spark), to its operating model (traditional to agile), to its culture (publicly called out to inclusive) to its structure (one monopoly brand to many). Here, Moutter has a candid chat about his journey as CEO, the company's push to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace and how one of his biggest lessons learned was he couldn’t solve a cultural issue with processes and strategy.

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Sephora on Queen Street announced for July opening

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sephora on Queen Street announced for July opening

Three years after launching online into New Zealand in 2016, French beauty chain Sephora is ready to commit to bricks and mortar. Now, the beauty store is set to open its three level flagship on Queen Street come July 20.

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Kiwi manufacturing cements itself on home shores with latest acquisition

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Kiwi manufacturing cements itself on home shores with latest acquisition

New Zealand based manufacturing has seen success as Cactus Outdoor, a Kiwi owned manufacturing brand, has acquired Albion Clothing Limited. The two manufacture companies will combine to create some of the most used and robust clothing supplied in New Zealand.

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  • July 10, 2019
  • The Register team
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Read more
 
 

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  • News
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  • News
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  • Courtney Devereux
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