David Jones could mean big business for New Zealand brands


New Zealand's first David Jones department store has opened this morning in Wellington, with keen shoppers queuing to be the first through the doors.

The Lambton Quay store is David Jones' first expansion outside Australia and stocks several international brands previously not available in New Zealand.

But it also stocks a range of New Zealand brands which chairman Ian Moir is keen to stock, not just in Wellington but overseas.

"We know that New Zealand fashion customers are looking for the great New Zealand brands so we'll have much more of an offer of the great New Zealand brands like Trelise Cooper and Kate Sylvester - they'll all be in there."

Mr Moir says if sales of the New Zealand brands do well, there is every possibility of stocking them in any of their 41 other stores.

"I think one of the things we can do, and we've certainly done this with South Africa and Australia, is take the best of one country into another so we're really hopeful that if we get a great response to these brands, we can take them into other markets  and build business together with them."

The Wellington store will stock famous Kiwi brands Kate Sylvester, Sabatini, Trelise Cooper, Twenty Seven Names, Saben, Rodd and Gunn and Karen Walker.

Saben is an Auckland-based handbag and accessories company. Director and designer Roanne Jacobson says being stocked in David Jones is a fabulous honour.

"We are all just so excited about the potential of the store in Wellington...The fact that our brands are sitting alongside very large international brands is fabulous for us all in showing that we can sit alongside those brands and stand in good stead.

Ms Jacobson says opening the Wellington store is a "really fabulous start" to a relationship she hopes will continue with David Jones' Australian stores.

"Small steps at this point but obviously the potential is great. We are working very closely with the Wellington team and their Australian buyers to make this as successful for them as it is for us and see where it all goes."

But she says she won't be rushing into anything.

"We like to do something and do it properly and only move on when we are well and truly ready for the next step. That is the way we handle these opportunities.

"We will obviously be looking at where to once we are well and truly au fait with how it works and how to make it work."