Ziera closing stores as it shifts focus online

New Zealand women’s shoe brand Ziera has appointed a new CEO and chairman to transform the business into a digital-first omnichannel retailer.

Ziera has announced a new partnership with The Iconic to grow its e-commerce presence, which will make it less reliant physical locations. The retailer plans to have fewer high street stores but offer higher quality service in the top locations is retains.

“We will always have flagship stores on the ground where customers can come in, check out the range and get fitted properly,” said Ziera chairman Andrew Robertson. 

“But, once we have customised their footprint, their details can be stored online and they can then also buy with confidence from one of our digital channels.”

A Ziera spokesperson told Inside Retail New Zealand that these changes are made in response to the change in consumer expectations, attitudes and behaviours, and teased further “refocusing” across other international markets it operates in.

“We are a relatively late entrant to the e-commerce channel and the continuing success we are seeing has developed our confidence to move strongly to a digital-led strategy,” the spokesperson told Inside Retail.

“Our digital strategy helps our stores in these markets by enabling them to focus on delivering a world-class experience.”

Ziera maintained that its bricks-and-mortar stores and retail teams will remain at the core of the business.

In addition to its partnership with The Iconic, Ziera has also forged an exclusive trading relationship with Foot Mechanics, a New Zealand-based podiatry business, which will offer a core Ziera range at its 17 clinics as well as  online.

This relationship will make Foot Mechanics one of Ziera’s largest wholesale partners in New Zealand. 

Additionally, three of the brand’s stores will close in July as a result of expiring leases – Bridge Road in Melbourne, Garden City in Brisbane, and Orange in New South Wales – further pushing the brand to embrace online capabilities. 

New direction, new leadership

The retailer has appointed a new chairman in Robertson, a new chief executive in Martin Bremner, and a new head of product design in Rosie Jamieson.

Bremner was previously chief executive of Super Liquor Holdings, and has helped businesses through similar transformational periods before. Since Bremner joined in 2018, Ziera’s online sales have grown by approximately 33 per cent, and has become it’s biggest “store”. 

Jamieson has more than two decades of experience in footwear creation, having previously worked at Hush Puppies, Sacha London, and Hotton. According to the brand, her involvement has seen the “reinvention” of the Ziera range. 

“Exciting times lie ahead of Ziera as we transform our business into an omnichannel retailer that provides customers with a convenient and easy experience, allowing them to shop however and whenever they choose,” Robertson said.

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