Superdry’s first NZ store opens amid head office turmoil in UK

superdry NZSports fashion brand Superdry opened its first store in New Zealand last week in the heart of Auckland’s Queen Street shopping district, while overseas, in the UK, the head office was thrown into turmoil after co-founder and former CEO Julian Dunkerton was reappointed to the board.

Eight directors, including the chairman and CEO, resigned from the board in protest, shortly after a small majority of shareholders, just over 51 per cent, voted to bring Dunkerton back. He is now serving as interim CEO.

Dunkerton had been publicly critical of the management of Superdry after stepping down from the board in March of last year, while directors blamed the co-founder himself for the company’s poor financial performance.

It’s unclear what the leadership change means Brand Collective, which holds the licence for Superdry in New Zealand and Australia. The company declined to comment for this story.

But in an earlier interview about Superdry’s sales in the UK, Brand Collective’s brand general manager for Superdry, Antony Hampson, said the UK business does not necessarily affect the stores in Australia and New Zealand.

“UK retail has been tough in general with a much warmer than expected summer which has had an impact on high street sales, particularly in those winter product types which Superdry is synonymous with,” he said.

“It is important to note that the brand is still very profitable and is continuing to stay true to its values around innovation, quality and design. The product is evolving for the better.”

Superdry UK announced last December it may close or relocate some of its stores after its annual profits came in £30 million ($58.2 million) below expectations.

But in New Zealand last week, Superdry was celebrating the opening of its first bricks-and-mortar store.

Lines were out the door, according to Brand Collective, to enter the 193sqm store, split into two levels, with the menswear department on the first level and a glass staircase leading consumers to the womenswear section on the second level.

The store also stocks a selection of Superdry Snow, which features fashion forward, technical alternatives to traditional snow gear.

The retailer celebrated the opening with DJ09’s morning beats and Mai FM’s street crew encouraging customers to crack the code to their lock box to have the chance to win the ultimate Superdry x Mai FM prize pack. The first 100 shoppers who spent over $100 received free Superdry leather jackets, Superdry t-shirts and Superdry accessories.

According to the retailer, musician Stan Walker, actress Grace Palmer and celebrity and fashion stylist Sammy Salsa were spotted as the first to shop in-store. The British retailer will also open another store in the country in Queenstown but the date for the opening has not yet been disclosed.

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