We have had a European shop invasion - now the Americans are coming.
Though retailers including Zara, Topshop and Miss Selfridge are now part of the Aussie higher street, a raft of new American retailers are calling Australia dwelling.
Californian-based surfwear brand Hollister opened in Bondi Junction Westfield yesterday whilst, across the road, homewares juggernaut Williams-Sonoma Inc opened 4 shops on Thursday - Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma.Michael Kors' flagship Sydney shop in Westfield CBD was launched final week and American lingerie brand Victoria's Secret has been steadily opening outlets in Australian airports.
Pennie Rende, basic manager of Williams-Sonoma Inc in Australia, stated Australia was chosen because the very first location outdoors North America to have physical retailers as a result of its robust on line sales data."Going worldwide was definitely important to us and Australia was selected mainly because it met the criteria. It is among the best two nations for on the internet sales," she stated. "We use online sales and e-commerce to tell us exactly where to open shops."
Along with bringing out stock, Rende said the brands would also be exporting the American service model.
"We're education everybody here. We have amazingly creative persons on staff that are hungry to study our expectation of service models," she mentioned. "Our service model is to really listen to our buyer."
Michael Scheiner, Hollister's president of advertising and marketing, said consumer service and the store's fit-out was as vital as the stock.
"The retailer practical experience is as opposed to any other. The design on the interior looks like a genuine beach house," he mentioned.
"Comfortable chairs equipped with magazines give clients having a spot to hang out, loosen up and take within the view."
Stephen Kulmar, the principal at retail consultancy group Retail Oasis, mentioned the influx of international brands would eventually advantage the nearby retail providing. "From the customer perspective, we'd have to say it really is all very good," he stated.
"We'll have international top quality retail brands obtainable, that will place stress on Australian retailers to improve the all round customer and brand encounter. The requirements are going to rise, be that in product, services or in-store encounter."
Kulmar stated the arrival of Zara and Topshop had led to enhanced product in the marketplace and that these new American brands would transform shoppers' expectations of client service.
"American retailers perform to make a whole retailer experience with their displays, visual merchandising and integration with on line," he stated.
"The brand practical experience will likely be a lot enhanced and it is going to encourage all Australian retailers to lift their requirements."
It was the strength of Australian on line purchasing which had attracted the physical shops, he explained: "Brands like Hollister are utilizing online sales as a study tool to operate out what industry they will enter. In the end it's a quite fantastic point for retail."While the improved competition will imply not absolutely everyone will survive, Kulmar didn't think that was a negative factor."Retail will radically strengthen its requirements. It's no longer about item at a value sitting in a store. It's about what your brands stand for," he said.