Andrea Moore becomes the latest Kiwi fashion brand to fail
In the past year alone, five top fashion brands in New Zealand have collapsed.
And after 20 years in the industry, iconic brand Andrea Moore has joined the list, announcing last month they too are going into liquidation.
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 the industry.
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 country.
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 figures.
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 consumer.
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 cost.
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 to finish.
Flexibility, collaboration, and communication are all essential, not only for delivering a successful product, but cutting down time and cost.
Contact us today and our friendly and experienced staff will be happy to chat with you about your options moving forward.