Harry’s clothing boutique has been a popular destination for Wellington shoppers for almost the past 10 years. Now, the original brick and mortar store is closing as the company expands elsewhere, we spoke to Belinda Wallace about what the move means for the brand.
Opened in 2008, Harry’s holds over 15 different labels and first opened on Seatoun Street in Wellington. Now as the company has plans to expand, the brand is setting up to say goodbye to the original store.
Why close the premises now?
“Seatoun is where Harry’s began in 2008. We are very grateful to the local community for their support and friendship, which has allowed Harry’s to grow to where it is today.
The decision to close the store was a very difficult one, however it was necessary in order to focus our energy on our new large format store in Wellington City and our new online shop, available mid-August.”
Did you feel as if your company was out growing the space is resided in?
The Seatoun space was ideal when we first opened. Since then, Harry’s has grown significantly and we are now stocking a vast array of pieces from leading local and international labels, along with an increased range of our proprietary label When Harry Ran Away. The larger city store premises enables us to better serve our clients’ needs.
What are your hopes for your new store?
Our focus is on delivering an exceptional fashion retail experience to our in store clients at Wakefield Street. Harry’s does this by providing the perfect edit of the latest collections from leading local and international designers with honest, friendly styling advice.
We are focusing our energy on our new large store in Wakefield Street, Wellington City while also expanding into online shopping for our exclusive, proprietary label When Harry Ran Away. So this is a busy time for Harry’s staff!
How do you think retail has changed since 2008, when you first set up in the location?
Certainly for Harry’s we have seen a growing customer base across a wider geographical area. The new large and centrally based store and online shop will allow us to look after all our customers better. Also fashion is so visual – online allows us to visually share our product more widely.
Have you had to alter your model to suit the way consumers shop?
We have had requests for an online shop for our When Harry Ran Away range since its launch. A lot of our clients live outside of Wellington and are not able to visit in store on a regular basis. It seemed a big step to go online, however with our planning, staff and resources in place, we are now ready to do it.
Have you found that the increase of online shopping has benefited your company?
With fashion, most people still like to see and feel fabrics, try pieces on and receive styling advice or feedback – so bricks and mortar stores will always be important.
Online shopping for our When Harry Ran Away collection will give us and our customers additional benefits. We find that once clients know the style of shirt or dress that works for them in the range, they are very happy to order more colours or prints in that style and don’t need to visit in store for purchase.