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Smiths City to close its unprofitable stores

  • News
  • April 17, 2018
Smiths City to close its unprofitable stores

Smiths City is preparing to close its unprofitable stores, as rough trading conditions and a rise of online shopping is being blamed for a decline in brick and mortar sales.

Smiths City seemed to be performing well; buying Furniture City in 2016 then rolling them out as a winder Smiths City brand end of last year. Yet the rebranded stores are struggling to gain traction, meaning the company has been operating at a loss.

The acquisition and rebranding of Furniture City came following the December 2015 changes regarding LV Martin, when Smiths City began consolidating its stores to turn its two Wellington-based LV Martin stores into Smiths City branches. It had owned the stores under the LV Martin brand for more than 10 years.

The Christchurch-based company expects to report a net loss of between $7 million and $8 million in the year ending April 30, compared to a profit of $2.4 million a year earlier, it said in a statement.

Revenue is seen falling to between $209 million and $213 million from $227.4 million a year earlier.

While the bulk of the company's revenue is through its retail network, the majority of its margin is in its finance arm. The company currently has 33 stores across New Zealand.

The retailer today said rebranding those stores and closing the Ngauranga Gorge outlet in Wellington "weighed heavily" on annual earnings, and that the former Furniture City outlets weren't meeting expectations.

"Although we are making strong sales of appliances – a category previously not available in the former Furniture City stores – furniture sales are yet to recover to levels prior to the rebrand," CEO Roy Campbell said. "This reflects a regional customer base that is still familiarising itself with the Smiths City brand as well as the broader market challenges."

The retailer celebrates its centenary this year.

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North City shopping centre is under new management

  • Property
  • July 18, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
North City shopping centre is under new management

Porirua shopping centre North City has been purchased by Australian property business Angaet Group from Kiwi Property, and Colliers International has been appointed manager of the centre.

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Kathmandu appoints vice president of sales and marketing for North America

  • Who's Where
  • July 17, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
Kathmandu appoints vice president of sales and marketing for North America

Kiwi outdoor gear retailer Kathmandu has appointed Bill Chandler to the newly-created position of vice president of sales and marketing, Kathmandu North America.

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Several designers announced for New Zealand Fashion Week

  • News
  • July 17, 2018
Several designers announced for New Zealand Fashion Week

Alongside the announcement of Turet Knuefermann opening for New Zealand Fashion Week, the week-long fashion exhibition includes several other big names of New Zealand designers, including first launches and classic returns.

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How businesses are celebrating Matariki

  • News
  • July 17, 2018
  • StopPress Team
How businesses are celebrating Matariki

The Maori New Year is increasing in cultural prominence each year, and some say it's only a matter of time before it becomes an official holiday. Here's how some Kiwi businesses market Matariki this year.

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Stolen Spirits co-founder Jamie Duff launches a new fitness nutrition brand

  • News
  • July 17, 2018
  • Caitlin Salter
Stolen Spirits co-founder Jamie Duff launches a new fitness nutrition brand

Stolen Spirits co-founder Jamie Duff has set up shop in the US alongside former Stolen creative director Kelvin Soh to found a venture studio in New York called New New. And now, the company has just debuted its most recent venture: Weekday Warriors, a direct-to-consumer nutrition company making premium fitness-related convenience products for busy people. Duff has a chat about the new project, as well as breaking into the US market.

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Wellington raincoat-maker Okewa creates a sustainable new line

  • Design
  • July 16, 2018
  • Findlay Buchanan
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Wellington based fashion brand, Okewa, is set to unveil its new capsule of mens and womens coats made from 100 percent recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. The new range will be released next Thursday and will be available for pre-order on the Okewa website and via Kickstarter as part of Plastic-Free July. It presents a new direction for Okewa, who is moving down the sustainability route for its high-quality rainwear range. Founders and loving partners Nevada and Nick Leckie share insights into its new clothing line as well as musings of the brand's origins founded in the windiest city in the world.

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