Where: Auckland, New Zealand
Stolen Girlfriends Club is an iconic New Zealand fashion brand with a successful online and wholesaling business, so it was a big deal when they launched their first-ever retail store (right below Vend HQ!) last week. We spoke to Director Dan Gosling on the concept for the new store and how they’re using Vend to streamline the business.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started and what you’re all about?
Myself and two friends started the brand in 2005 – we wanted to create the clothes and products that we couldn’t find in the market place at the time. Our clothing is about confidence and courage, and every collection has an underlying feeling of rock’n’roll swagger. We’re now stocked in over 13 countries around the world, positioned in mid-high end boutiques and department stores, and are continuing to expand.
What made you decide to open a store when you’re already successful in online and wholesale?
We wanted to be able to showcase our entire range in one place, and have a space that is an extension of our whole brand. Selling through stockists is great but they get to choose what is available to customers, not us. A physical store also means we can talk directly to customers and have a much more personal relationship with them.
We’ve run a few pop-up stores over in Japan and America that have gone really well, and had wanted to set up our own retail store for quite a while, but it was a matter of finding the right place – somewhere that made sense to us in terms of location, space and feel. When we found this site on Nuffield Street we thought it was perfect.
What brought you to Vend and how’ve you found it?
When we designed the store we really wanted the space to feel clean and uncluttered – so everything is run off iPads and there’s no cash registers or chunky hardware. And we wanted to put something in place that would streamline our day-to-day work and give visibility across the whole business. So we chose to use Vend as it runs on the iPad and links in with the other software we use like Xero and Unleashed. It means we can have everything talking seamlessly to each other. We think it will make a big difference to the business, in terms of making it more streamlined and eliminating errors. It’s also a great experience for our customers when they come into the store.
Plus Vend is headquartered just upstairs from us, so it’s awesome to be so close to the team.
What was your design concept for the new store?
Minimalism and a space where the colours and fit-out complement the clothing rather than overpower it. We’ve used materials like gloss black steel, volcanic rock and rosewood, and big mirrors to create space. And it was important that we had great flow and light so it’s not your typical layout – we’ve opened up the back of the store so it flows right to the back windows bringing in light from both ends.
Lastly, do you have any advice for new retailers?
Give yourself time. When you’re setting up something new – whether that’s a store or technology – make sure you have time up your sleeve to do it properly. You want to get it right the first time.
– Dan Gosling, Director, Stolen Girlfriends Club
About Simon Pound
Simon Pound is a retailer that also looks after brand & communications at Vend, a point-of-sale, inventory, and customer loyalty software that helps over 15,000 stores manage and grow their business. Stories from his label can he found here. Connect with Simon on Google+.
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