Glassons is a much-loved womenswear brand which many New Zealanders have grown up with. With its rich history cemented in New Zealand culture since the 1900’s, the womenswear fashion retailer has continued to evolve, offering premium quality, trend-based, affordable fashion to New Zealand and the rest of the world. Currently there are 37 Glassons stores across New Zealand, 32 in Australia and an online e-commerce store which ships to their global customer. In April, Glassons launched their flagship store in Newmarket with a new-look concept design, amplifying the retail experience for customers.
N. Glassons stores are very recognisable and vibrant environments, and we have seen this within the newly relaunched Newmarket flagship. Can you tell us about the new store fitout and how this design adds to the customer experience/shopping journey in store?
Glassons Newmarket was the latest store to undergo a major redevelopment as part of our continued strategy to further excite and enhance the in-store experience and keep our customers engaged. Spanning 575 sqm, Newmarket marks Glassons’ 8th concept store in New Zealand with a number of new concept stores scheduled to roll out over the next quarter across the country. Key features include updated fitting rooms, floor to ceiling digital screens and in-store iPads allowing customers to select their own music while shopping. Our ‘Click and Collect’ model is also available as an increasingly popular option giving shoppers the best of both retail experiences – convenience of online shopping and the immediacy of collection.
N. Operating in both New Zealand and Australia, what are the key differences between the NZ and Australian Glassons customer? How do you market to them differently?
We are constantly engaging with our customers in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide. Obviously, the climate presents the biggest differences between countries and major cities, so we make sure we are reactive in terms of localised seasonal merchandising and site experiences. Glassons has a Head Office here in Newmarket, and one in Sydney which allows us to respond to demand, while providing fast delivery for customers.
N. With a retail landscape that is becoming more saturated with choice and options for consumers, how has Glassons kept up with the likes of global fast-fashion retailers?
Our model is fairly simple. We deliver quality, trend-based and affordably-priced fashion that caters to our customers, with exceptional customer service and a strong e-commerce offering. We release new collections into stores and online weekly, so there is always a demand from our customers looking for the latest fashion piece.
N. What are some of the upcoming trends that we can expect to see instore this season?
Rolling out from June you will see printed dresses, layered with exaggerated sweaters, more corduroy as well as warm teddy and borg coats, and checks coming through in blazers and suits. We will also start to introduce our lighter trans-seasonal stories with 90’s inspired floral dresses with more of a bohemian vibe, lots of broidery and lace! The big trends in our Glassons Vintage collection are lace slips, which will be paired back with camo jackets and worn with cowboy boots and grungy tees.
N. How do you manage such a large team of staff?
I guess you could say that Glassons runs fairly small teams across New Zealand and Australia. We work closely together and produce most of our product and content in-house, which allows us to be agile and work efficiently.
N. With consumers and society increasingly prioritising the sustainable and ethical brands they buy from, how is Glassons approaching sustainability in the fashion space?
Glassons maintains high standards within the business and our supply chain to support ethical behaviours, which is an area we are continuously working to improve. An example of this is the phasing out of plastic shopping bags last year; we now use paper bags across stores. All new store fit outs, including Newmarket, have been installed with LED lighting to reduce energy usage, and any goods that we don’t sell (i.e. faulty) are sent to charity where they can be repurposed into insulation or woollen blankets for India. We also have a new Glassons Vintage capsule in the Newmarket store, a curated collection of pre-loved clothing. While not necessarily a new concept for Glassons, we have released limited second-hand capsules in the past, this will be the first time we trial a collection of this size – with everything from recycled denim jeans and jackets, printed midi skirts, vintage tees, slip dresses, tie-dye pieces, silk shirts, sweats, accessories and corduroy shirting.
N. Glassons are well known for hosting influencers on glamorous trips showcasing Glassons products around the world. How has social media, and the rise of the influencer changed the way you market?
Social media is an important means for allowing the business to directly engage with our customer. Last month we hosted our first official influencer event with Glassons customers, flying 5 girls and their friends to Queenstown for the weekend. The response was hugely positive.
N. In what is becoming a more challenging and competitive retail environment, especially for bricks and mortar stores, how has Glassons adapted to an increasingly digital age?
Digital is a big part of our business and it is important how we communicate and relate to our customer. Ensuring a positive experience is key, meaning fast delivery, strong customer ethos, payment and delivery options such as, Click and Collect, and After Pay, as well as delivering a localised and user-friendly online experience.
N. Most people don’t realise that Newmarket is the heart of the Glassons empire. Can you tell us more about the Glassons relationship with Newmarket?
Newmarket is home to our flagship store on Broadway with our NZ Head Office located above the store, containing our team’s Head Quarters including our Product team and Digital Studio where we design our collections and create our content for e-commerce. Being co-located with our flagship store ensures we can directly interact and respond with our customers and their demands, meaning we can continue to evolve our product offering. The Newmarket customer is key to our business, representing a diverse market for us.
N. What’s next for Glassons?
As mentioned, you will see the continued roll out of our exciting new concept stores across the country and in terms of social media, our Queenstown x You customer event last month will evolve as we continue to engage our customers in refreshing ways.
153 Broadway | @glassons