Despite Cotton being a global brand, the New Zealand market is a key focus for the retailer.
It consistently ranks one of Cotton On's top three performing countries, which has led to it opening 142 stores nationwide.
Cotton On also plans to open up another 20 over the course of the next financial year, while recruiting 1000 more staff.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that the retailer has picked a New Zealand town for a world first – investing in its first shopping centre.
Cotton On’s move follows in the footsteps of retailers that own property as well as retail stores, such as Harvey Norman and the Briscoe Group – but it takes it to a much larger scale, as Papamoa’s Fashion Island is a 20-story shopping complex.
The Group plans on filling five of the stores with its various brands.
Meanwhile, the Bay of Plenty area it’s chosen to invest in grows from strength to strength.
A recent Infometrics report found net migration to the area more than doubled to 1126 people in a year, while retail spending increased by six percent compared to the New Zealand average of 2.8 percent.
See our Q&A with Singleton below and look out for part two tomorrow.
It’s quite unusual in New Zealand for a retailer to purchase a shopping centre - why did Cotton On decide to invest in one?
Since launching in the market 10 years ago, our brands and products have resonated incredibly well with customers here, with New Zealand consistently in our top-three performing countries globally.
As a market of firsts, we are incredibly excited to have purchased our first shopping centre globally – right here in New Zealand.
The acquisition of Fashion Island in Papamoa will allow us to create new property opportunities for the business as we open the doors to five stores across our brand portfolio before Christmas (Cotton On, Cotton On Kids, Cotton On Body, Supre and Rubi Shoes).
Why the location choice of Tauranga?
Accessibility is key for us as we believe our brands should be available to everyone, everywhere.
The strength of our brand in both Australia and New Zealand has allowed us to be successful in our city centre locations as well as suburban hubs and regional towns.
As one of the fastest growing townships in the Bay of Plenty region – Papamoa was an obvious next step for us.
I understand Fashion Island wasn’t performing that well prior to Cotton On’s purchase. How do you plan to reinvigorate the centre?
We see huge potential in Fashion Island and look forward to reinvigorating the centre by offering customers even greater access to the latest trends in fashion and lifestyle through the addition of our brands including Cotton On, Cotton On Kids, Cotton On Body, Supre and Rubi Shoes.