IR: Every retailer had a different experience in 2020. What was it like for you, as a bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce business in New Zealand?
RD: 2020 was definitely a wild ride full of ups and downs! Covid was something that we never imagined would ever happen. Having 48 hours to close the stores without knowing when exactly they would open again was so strange and, to be honest, very scary. However, in true Superette fashion, our team pulled together to just get on with things and make the most of a difficult situation to create new opportunities. The support we received from our customers throughout the whole of last year was amazing, whether that was them shopping online during lockdown, racing into store to support us when we opened back up, or even the lovely messages we received! We definitely felt very lucky to have such a strong and supportive community behind us.
IR: I know you recently partnered with the charity Everybody Eats to help alleviate food poverty. How did this partnership come about, and are there any other social causes you support?
RD: When we started planning our Christmas campaign for 2020, we saw an opportunity to support a deserving cause through our gift-wrapping service. Everybody Eats was the one that really struck a chord with both myself and our team. Their mission to reduce food waste whilst feeding hungry bellies is awesome, and we were so proud to do our part to help out.
Our Superette Social Club, which is run by some of our staff members, also drives different initiatives throughout the year. We had a Pink Ribbon Breakfast in October to raise awareness for Breast Cancer and in November we did a clothing drive for the New Zealand Women’s Refuge where our staff cleared out their wardrobes to donate to those in need.
IR: What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
RD: I’m looking forward to a year that’s maybe a little less eventful! I can’t wait to get cracking into 2021, we have some super exciting things in the pipe that we can’t wait to share. Hopefully, we will also be able to get back to travelling at some stage, as we definitely miss being able to catch up with and view the collections in person from our overseas brands.
IR: Given the rapid rise in online shopping that many retailers experienced this year, how do you see the future of bricks-and-mortar retail? What are people looking for when they’re visiting a store now?
RD: I think there will always be a place for bricks-and-mortar; it’s how we first started and it’s definitely something I’m very passionate about. With our stores, we definitely try to offer that highly personal experience that can’t be replicated online, whether that’s finding the perfect gift for someone, providing an awesome styling session at our Superette International store, or just having a really good chat with our customers, some of whom have been shopping with us for years, and we know inside out!
IR: What are Superette’s biggest strengths/points of difference?
RD: I would have to say our product range! We really strive to curate the best of what all of our brands have to offer, which in turn creates a great shopping experience for our customer. We love a good collaboration by teaming up with our brands to create some really special exclusive pieces that you can’t find elsewhere. I also have to give a shout-out to our team, they live and breathe Superette and make it a special place to shop for our customers.
IR: What are the biggest challenges you face at the moment?
RD: Getting stock delivered has been a lot more challenging than usual. The ports, customs and our freight companies are all under the pump so it has caused quite a few delays for us, but we’ve just been trying our best to work it and focus on what we can control.
IR: What are the most exciting Australasian brands you’ve got your eye on at the moment?RD: Ooh – that’s a tough one, there is so much goodness at the moment! Bassike and Matin are some of my favourites for summer, and I think Esse Studios is doing some really great things; the latest collection we’ve just received in store is beautiful! I might be a bit biased, but I’m also really excited about our new Superette collection that drops mid-January. We shot the campaign for it last week, and it looks amazing!