Louis Vuitton will open a new store in Westfield Newmarket. Photo / Louis Vuitton

The Rumours Are True: More Luxury Labels Are Opening Their Doors In Auckland

Westfield Newmarket is welcoming some of the world's most famous luxury brands to its stable

Joining the ranks of international and local boutiques at Tāmaki Makaurau's Westfield Newmarket are some long-awaited (and much whispered about) luxury brands.

Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Moncler, Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors are opening at the premium shopping precinct. Scentre Group, the ASX-listed company which owns 51 per cent of the Auckland property, said these international retailers will soon be trading from the property it calls a lifestyle centre.

New Zealand-owned family business Partridge Jewellers, selling globally branded items, will also open and complete the lineup.

John Papagiannis, Scentre's director of leasing, retail solutions and development, said all up, nine new retailers are opening at the mall at the foot of Remuera and six have never had outlets in this country before. Introducing these retailers to Newmarket showed the strength of the local customer base, Papagiannis said.

READ: McQueen & Balenciaga Among Luxury Retailers Set To Grace Auckland

Scentre owns 42 Westfield living centres here and in Australia with more than 12,000 shops. Here, it owns five properties with the Singapore Government's property investment scheme, at Albany, Newmarket, Manukau, St Lukes and Riccarton.

Paul Gardner, Scentre's regional manager for New Zealand, said today the new retailers would trade from the grand ground-level floor area between the Broadway/Mortimer Pass corner and David Jones. Most of those shops have never been tenanted since the centre was opened in stages from August, 2019. Scentre built that wide corridor-shaped area for luxury brands but Covid meant the shops failed to materialise until now.

Gardner said the brand arrivals were a big vote of confidence in the sector. Photo / Supplied

"They'll all be open by Christmas but they'll open gradually between August and the festive season. They don't all open at once," Gardner said. Mulberry opened in December last year and the living centre also has Auckland's only David Jones.

"These nine new retailers are not the end of it," Gardner said today. "There's more to come and some of those are from overseas." Lease terms have not been revealed. Scentre wasn't commenting on the length of the leases nor the price per square metre.

Shop fit-outs are under way and construction workers are at the sites. "These fit-outs are quite different to others because it does take much longer to equip luxury designer retailers to this level of quality," Gardner said. "It's a significant milestone for New Zealand to have a curated selection of luxury retailers to this very high standard. What this is reinforcing is the strength of the New Zealand retail market but also the economy and the fact that global brands want to invest in this economy and country at this time. It's quite an endorsement of the emergence of retail in New Zealand, that so many brands would make a decision to invest.

READ: British Heritage Brand Mulberry Makes Its Retail Debut In New Zealand

"For six of these nine new retailers announced and coming here, this will be the first time they have traded in New Zealand," he said, naming Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Moncler, Burberry and Jimmy Choo.

Stats NZ said that in the March quarter, the volume of retail sales rose 2.5 per cent on the December quarter. Sales volumes fell 2.6 per cent in the December quarter.
The total value of retail sales was also up 2.5 per cent to $648m and 10 out of 16 regions had higher sales values.

Hardware, building and garden supply sales values rose up 5.6 per cent to reach $144m, the value of recreational goods sales rose 16 per cent to $109m, motor vehicle and parts retailing rose 2.5 per cent $95m and electrical and electronic goods sales values rose 6.6 per cent to $78m in the March quarter, Stats NZ said.

– The New Zealand Herald

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