Friday, May 15, 2009

#511 Auckland retailers throwing all caution to the wind? In-Teed!


Expansion phase number one: the new Isaac Likes office.

There are two schools of thought when dealing with a recession (well probably more than two, but I'm no economist and these are the only ones I know) - consolidate, act conservatively and attempt to stay on your feet; or EXPAND EXPAND EXPAND! I'm terribly excited to see that some of Auckland's most prominent fashion retailers are choosing the latter option. I've been hearing rumours about new stores opening for a week or two now, so I thought it was about time I got off my comfortable chair in my cushy new bedroom-office (I too have expanded, off my bed and onto a real live desk), and started getting some solid facts about what's happening in this city of ours.


Limited time only pop-up store Macaroni Penguin

First things first, Macaroni Penguin. Showroom 22 led the charge to Teed St with their one-month-only pop-up store in the old Stenbeck and Morse site, opened for philanthropic reasons after several local labels' stockists went bust and left the designers with no outlet for their already produced stock. The store is selling a selection of brands including twentysevennames, Alexandra Owen, State of Grace and Karen Walker Eyewear, and is open now until 29 May. When it closes, an Annah Stretton store will move into the site, bringing her total of Newmarket stores to two. According to the press release, "this new beginning is a reflection of the determination of owner Annah Stretton to strengthen her business".


WORLD Man's existing location on High St

WORLD Man is stepping back from High St and into Little High St near their huge WORLD Deluxe store, with plans to initiate the move in the next two weeks. WORLD's PR Matt Vogts told me this morning that they've been wanting to get out of the current High St location for a while, citing the store's irregular shape as one of the reasons behind the move. Vogts also said that the new store is slightly larger than the High St store, and will "feel a lot better inside". When asked if they've considered a store in Newmarket, Vogts said that they've been scouting a few locations in Newmarket, they're also looking to expand in Australia, and their first ever Christchurch store will open on the corner of High St and Lichfield St next month.


Fabric's High St flagship - Image /Jordan Rondel

Newmarket's Teed St is looking like a High St carbon copy, with an explosion of new stores starting up from next month. Fabric is going in first with an expected opening date of late June, early July. According to manager Leon Vince, the store is going to be much the same as the High St store, with an emphasis on denim, Comme fragrances and clothing. This is the store's second attempt at Newmarket. "Eight years ago we didn't give it a great show," said Vince, "but now it's time to try it again and diversify. Traffic and parking have become hard in the city, and because of the recession it's probably a really good time to be expanding. Competition is falling away a bit, and people want to shop with stores they know. When it's quiet you don't want to wait for your customers to come to you, you've got to take it to them. We're taking it to the people!"


Sunglass Bar's current Newmarket location on Broadway

Locally owned eyewear specialists Sunglass Bar are moving off Broadway and next to Fabric, with an expected opening date of 1 August. Newmarket manager Leah told me that Broadway was never their preferable Newmarket location. "Broadway isn't our target market. Teed St is where we want to be, it's more our target customer."


Zambesi Vulcan Lane - Image /Jordan Rondel

Zambesi is moving their existing Teed St store into the much larger historic Hayes Foundry building on the corner of Osborne and Teed St, next door to the Sunglass Bar, with an expected opening date of 1 August. According to Neville Findlay, the lure of the historic building was too great for him to pass up. "I was seduced by the building, I'm always attracted to those character buildings, so when I heard that the Foundry building was available I got very excited and started making some enquiries. It's given us an opportunity to display a much wider range of product, including menswear, which we haven't been able to do in Newmarket before."


Karen Walker's Newmarket store - Image /Jordan Rondel

And finally, Karen Walker is set to open up her first Ponsonby location in what is now the Isakelle store on Ponsonby Rd, a few doors along from the WORLD Beauty store. The store will open early August. More on that to come!

I LIKE YOU!

10 comments:

MuzMedia said...

The office is looking sharp, Isaac. Who's your decorator?

Isaac Likes said...

I am of course!

Who's yours?

allie said...

coming from an economics and finance post grad student, now is definitely a good time to expand if you can afford it. although this year will definitely be worse financially than last year. so here's hoping all these new stores can survive the rest of 2009 and come out with a definite advantage.

Isaac Likes said...

Hi Allie, great to have your learned opinion in the mix!

I am amazed that these companies have enough money to expand at at time like this when retail sales are down to such an extent.

Perhaps the new microcosm of fashion that is Teed St might create a bit of hype and drive some sales up?

Emma said...

I'm going to sound tres shallow.. But this post makes me want to go shopping! Exciting news, and thanks for delivering. Seriously though, its inspiring that so many are leading the charge and expanding - wishing them all masses of luck.

Isaac Likes said...

You don't sound shallow at all! That's exactly the right attitude that we need - people getting excited about shopping again so that our retailers can start lifting profits!

I say go shop!

Simon Hoffmann said...

Haha, store shape is the least of worldmans problems. Sort out the staff jumping to try force their style and sales quota down your throat, which I have found with 80% of the staff in the years I have been visiting world. I just consistently feel uncomfortable in their stores (and I've happily shopped at far swankier places so its not that). Just my 2 cents, still looking foward to seeing the space though.

tess + s said...

You wouldn't happen to know the right person to contact re job applications for the new WORLD in Christchurch would you, Isaac?

Although these things do always seem to be filled by those 'in the family'. Alas...

Excited that some sophistication is coming to the southern cities through!

Isaac Likes said...

Hey Tess how's it going?
Send me an email on isaac@isaaclikes.com and I'll give you a contact.

Drus said...

eww I once applied for a job at World, when I told Sarah that I liked to let customers browse she explained that World only does in your face assisting.

of course i didn't get the job, but i don't recall meeting someone so humorless as her. Here's an idea, make me collection with more than two nice pieces in it and you might smile more, and have to push your schtick less

-typed in a World jacket, which I love, even if it's cut for an endomorph