Close
 

Back in Time: Smiths City

  • News
  • July 6, 2017
  • Courtney Devereux
Back in Time: Smiths City

After almost 100 years trading, the 99-year-old iconic brand that is Smiths City has officially opened its 30th store located in Hastings. The new 2230 square metre store officially opened on March 17 and is a welcome addition to the ever-growing retailer.

Founded in 1918 by Henry Cooper Smith, the Christchurch-based company is working towards its 100th birthday next year. Smiths City is going through a national expansion plan and new designs are expected to be rolled out nationwide over the coming years.

The property at 550 Colombo Street, Christchurch was the home of the Ward and Company City Brewery before Henry Cooper Smith bought the place in 1918 and turned it into an auction house.

In 1920, Smith leased extra land where he also auctioned off livestock. The company traded under the name Smiths City Market until 1986, then the following year, it dropped the work ‘market’ from its name.

Smiths City Market Limited was registered as a private company in 1938 but was floated as a public company in 1972.

In 1988 the group reconstructed into two chains – Smiths City Limited, selling homewares; and Smiths DIY Limited, selling builders supplies and sports goods. However, the company was then placed in receivership in 1991.

Smiths City’s success started up again in 1994, March, where it officially became the first publicly listed company in New Zealand to recover from receivership.

Now, Smiths City has a strong community focus, working with many New Zealand charities over the last few decades. This includes Ronald McDonald House, Santa Parade, Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust, Youthline and most recently, the Christchurch branch of the New Zealand Fire Service, for which it raised $25,000.

Total expenditure for donations and sponsorship by the group average out at $91,359 in 2010.

Roy Campbell, chief executive of Smiths City Group, said that with the approach of their century celebrations that integral to the retailer’s longevity is its ability to evolve and reflect changing market needs.

“As a retailer you always must be in touch with your customers, understanding what they want and making sure you meet their requirements. It’s an ever-changing market.”

“This new design is a direct response to customer research conducted last year. Customers who shop large ticket furniture and appliances want an enjoyable shopping experience that’s both inspiring and easy,” says Campbell.

In December 2015, Smiths City began consolidating its stores to be under one brand turning its two Wellington-based LV Martin stores that it has owned for more than ten years into renamed Smiths City.

“LV Martin changing its name to Smiths City is a coming together of two retailers with very similar mindsets. We’re a genuine, Kiwi-owned company, with a southern heritage that stretches back more than 85 years,” Campbell then said.

Although an iconic brand, Smiths City hasn’t had a fully smooth ride. Campbell was appointed in May of 2015, only to see the company’s first-half profit slide by 46 percent after it was cleared of wrongdoings over unpaid staff meetings in 2016.

Under Campbell, Smiths City is running a ruler over its assets in a bid to improve earnings.

Campbell has been credited for the significant changes occurring throughout the company that helped it achieve the purchase of Furniture City in January of last year for $5.85 million.

The new Hastings store is the retailer's 30th and was also the start of a combined physical and digital strategy, with customers now offered the option of buying online. Moving into the digital sector upholds Smith City’s philosophy that to survive for a century, you need to keep up with the market.

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 749 April / May 2017

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

The beauty of it: From start to success with cosmetic mogul Rowena Roberts

  • News
  • June 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
The beauty of it: From start to success with cosmetic mogul Rowena Roberts

Rowena Roberts had zero experience in retail when she propositioned Estée Lauder to allow her to open a MAC Cosmetics store in New Zealand. Now, over 18 years later through her business Red Honey Cosmetics, she has sold luxury brands Jo Malone London, Bobbi Brown and MAC in New Zealand successfully. The cosmetics mogul talks to us on the most important aspects of running her businesses, and why no one should ever be afraid to do the literal dirty work.

Read more
 
 
Design

Spread the word: Pic’s Peanut Butter World opens

If all the world’s a stage, Pic’s Peanut Butter World is no peanut gallery.

 
 
Sponsored Content

Past the typical: Well Hung Butchery

Well Hung butchery, located in Milford, is a new shining example of how retail fit outs are becoming less about what you sell and more ...

 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Fisher & Paykel makes record result on strong sales

  • News
  • June 13, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Fisher & Paykel makes record result on strong sales

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has made a record full year profit with more than $1 billion in sales

Read more
 
 

Farro co-founder launches Waste-Not Kitchen charity

  • News
  • June 13, 2019
  • The Register team
Farro co-founder launches Waste-Not Kitchen charity

A new charity, Waste-Not Kitchen, has launched with the aim of feeding Kiwis in need with meals created from surplus retail meat that would otherwise go to landfill in a one-for-one model. Farro co-founder Janene Draper and her sister Leysa Ross are behind the initiative.

Read more
 

Wellington book sector gets shared working space

  • News
  • June 13, 2019
Wellington book sector gets shared working space

Booksellers NZ has made its latest venture to supporting writers in the industry, teaming up with the New Zealand Book Council to form Whare Pukapuka, a shared working space in Wellington.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}