In the past year
alone, five top fashion brands in New Zealand have
And after 20 years in the industry, iconic brand Andrea Moore
has joined the list, announcing last month they too are going into
So what's going on? Is this a global trend, or something unique
to New Zealand?
The answer appears to be a little bit of both.
Dark times for fashion brands
2017 was a bad year for Kiwi fashion brands.
Started in 1999, Andrea Moore had 7 stores across New Zealand,
employing 22 staff members. Even with a loyal customer base of over
30,000, the company couldn't keep up with the modern pressures of
Managing Director Brian Molloy, said the company hit a "perfect
storm" in 2017, with late deliveries, crippling creditor payment
defaults and extensive roadworks outside both its Auckland and
Christchurch stores damaging trade for months.
Founded in 1983, fashion retailer Kimberleys went into
receivership in Oct 2017 after 34 years in business. The store
started as a stockist of local labels and began manufacturing its
own knitwear, eventually growing to nine stores around the
Managing Director of Retail First, Chris Wilkinson, said the
Kimberley stores were well located and had a good online presence,
but sales could not keep up with costs.
After much fanfare, UK giant Topshop closed its doors after a
short-lived venture in New Zealand. The company only lasted 2
years, with internal problems doing much of the damage.
The latest fashion trends in the UK didn't make it to New
Zealand shores, and instead the unsold and unpopular ranges were
sent out, usually six months later. Consumers on this side of the
globe felt, ripped off, and sales didn't reach expected
Marcs and David Lawrence
The Australian brands Marcs and David
Lawrence closed 10 stores in New Zealand in 2017, with the loss
of 44 jobs. The move came on the heels of similar closures in
Australia which saw 13 shops close in February.
The stores were placed into voluntary administration due to low
sales, poor cashflow and difficult marketing conditions.
So what's causing all these closures?
Historically New Zealand has been starved of international,
affordable fashion brands and collaborations. This opened the door
to up-market, boutique brands, which catered to the more affluent
But times are changing, and since the arrival of online
shopping, competition has increased dramatically.
Increasingly designer brand clothing can be purchased online or
replaced with good quality 'look-a-likes' for considerably less
Fast fashion is also changing the industry, with Millennials
looking for clothes they can wear a few times and then discard.
Instead of waiting for the new "season" of fashion designs, they
want a constant churn of looks, and are happy to buy something of a
lesser quality if it's cheap and disposable.
Brands like Zara understand this, taking only two weeks
from concept to sales floor, making Amancio Ortega, Zara's founder,
the richest man in the world.
On top of that, the cost of living in New Zealand has increased
significantly in just a few years, making fashion purchases a
luxury, far behind everyday costs such as food and rent.
In this economic climate, paying less for clothes online appeals
to many, especially for those under 30.
How we can help brands to get established
This is a difficult time for the industry, and with respected
and established brands falling by the wayside, it's even harder for
new, up-and-coming brands to find success.
Support, advice, and connections are all essential in the modern
fashion world, and luckily, we have all three.
If you're a designer starting out in the industry, then why not
get in touch with us and see how we
can help get your brand off the ground.
Our experience with professional business, local suppliers, and
our global infrastructure, can help you on your journey from start
Flexibility, collaboration, and communication are all essential,
not only for delivering a successful product, but cutting down time
Contact us today and our
friendly and experienced staff will be happy to chat with you about
your options moving forward.