Retail heavyweights are finally hitting our shores

  • Opinion
  • December 18, 2015
  • Lizzi Hines
Retail heavyweights are finally hitting our shores

I remember at least five years ago hearing the speculative gossip that Zara were hitting our shores soon. So rife were the rumours and for such a long time they spun amongst the retail industry, I was sure it was becoming a bit of an urban legend. Alas, half a decade on, Zara are finally coming to the land of long white cloud and interestingly they have been pipped at the post by fashion heavy-weights Top Shop and H&M.

Zara are no drop in the ocean – they know a thing or two about building a powerful success story. They have just announced a 20 percent surge in nine-month net profits, some would say because their investments and widespread expansion has started to pay off and are now clearing 14.7 billion euros in sales. That is one healthy profit and loss statement.

With 230 Zara stores across the globe – why are we finally getting a look in? And why are some of the other large retailers starting to follow suit? Our population is low compared to other fellow lands, however our economy remains robust and I believe it’s actually New Zealand’s tourism numbers which are attracting the retailer heavy-weights. Tourism is set to overtake dairying as this country’s leading export earner within the next year and our hearty cruise ship contingent is boosting numbers of travellers with piles of money in their back pocket.

So, Zara’s going to Sylvia Park to compete head to head with what I would probably call their nemesis – H&M and Top Shop have just announced they’ll be opening their second store in Christchurch. Victoria’s Secret opened in the Auckland International airport without much hullabaloo and the latest buzz is Tiffanys are snapping up a premises in Britomart.

Close to my heart and almost too hard to mention is Ikea. Yes, there were tittle-tattles they were searching for a location but nothing was large enough or close enough to transport. So, whilst they plan to increase store numbers from eight to 22 in the next year in Australia, New Zealanders will have to play the waiting game.

The general rule is, if the Australian arm of the business is set up, New Zealand will be next on the agenda. It’s all about logistics and ease of setting up and with the Downtown development going ahead, the attraction to open up on our shores will be tantalizing.

Who’s next? Aldi? Gap? Mango? Marks & Spencer? Abercrombie & Fitch? And APPLE?

Whatever, whoever and whenever I’m incredibly excited about what our country will look like in a few years’ time and we should stand tall with pride that we are now certainly a country others are looking at with respect.

This content originally appeared on Spaceworks' blog.

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