Outdoor retailer Patagonia will open its first store in New Zealand in the coming years, country director for ANZ Dane O’Shanassy told Inside Retail New Zealand.
“We don’t currently have our own stores there, but we have a strong wholesale and e-commerce business,” O’Shanassy said.
He said the retailer is planning to open “a few more stores” in Australia and New Zealand “over the next few years”.
Patagonia products currently are stocked in dozens of retailers in New Zealand, including Bivouac Outdoor and Hunting and Fishing, and sold online through the retailer’s Australian website.
O’Shanassy did not provide further details about when and where the retailer was planning to open its first store in New Zealand, but said the company considers the broader impact of its stores on communities when it selects locations.
“Where we open, we’re not just looking at the impact on the business, but how it impacts the community,” he said. “There needs to be a community benefit, not just a shop.”
The retailer next month will open its flagship store in Melbourne. The store, located on Little Collins Street in the CBD, where several other outdoor retailers are based, draws on Melbourne’s history of “iconic urban activism,” O’Shanassy said, and will include event space to screen films and hold talks.
“We have configured the store to be a place that serves our community, so it can be converted to a cinema space, an event space and talks,” he said.
“We want to make it available to the partners in our grant networks – environmental not-for-profits – and those that may have a need to bring people together.”
Patagonia also is planning to raise the profile of its ‘Worn Wear’ repair service in the region. The retailer currently operates a repair hub in its Sydney flagship, where it fixes or alters items from Patagonia and other brands free of charge.
“We prioritise repair over replacement, our aim is to keep stuff out of landfill. It’s a really important part of the brand, and we think it will become more prominent over the next year or two,” O’Shanassy said.
Patagonia closed its stores and online site in support of the Climate Strike last month, and currently is running an eye-catching campaign to draw attention to global warming.