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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 04:26 am

Online versus in-store fine balance for The Mews partners

Jul 3rd, 2018 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Minty Green and Sarah Riddiford, the owners of Wellington boutique The Mews, look through the racks.


The Mews’ Lambton Quay pop up.

Domestic online retail sales are growing at a faster pace than international, but all is not lost for instore retail.

Domestic online sales have increased by over 16% to around $2.6 billion in April 2018 compared to April last year and international online sales are up 12% at $1.8 billion for the same time period according to BNZ and Marketview statistics.

Minty Green and Sarah Riddiford, the owners of Wellington boutique The Mews, were early adopters of an online presence in 2010.

“There were similar types of shops to us that weren’t doing it and we thought that it was really good to have it.

“That was crucial. Not just for buying, but for browsing too,” Sarah says.

In New Zealand, online retail had a total sales increase of 14% for April 2018 compared to 3.4% for instore retail sales for the March 2018 quarter compared to the same time in 2017 according to Statistics New Zealand.

Minty and Sarah try to give their pop up stores a nice atmosphere, even though they’re only temporary.

Minty, whose mother started the business in 1969, and Sarah think security and no surprise costs are why more New Zealanders are shopping domestically.

“If it’s not right and you have to send it back overseas then it’s another $30. That puts me off,” Minty says.

December, the biggest shopping month, shows the steep growth in online spending when comparing years.

New Zealanders spent about $150 million in December 2012 and about $250 million in the same period in 2018.

Minty and Sarah say it’s different in fashion and find their biggest months are March, September and October, when the seasons are changing, rather than at Christmas.

“They might desperately buy a Christmas party dress or get someone to buy something for them, but people feel guilty about spending on themselves,” Sarah says.

However, New Zealand’s online spending total of about $4.3 billion excluding GST makes up only 7.7% of total retail spending.

New Zealanders spend around $56 billion a year (excluding hospitality and motoring), about $51.7 billion of which is instore retail.

It’s been a trying few years for The Mews after the permanent store’s building was earthquake damaged and then demolished in 2016.

They lost their entire inventory and mementoes from the boutique’s earlier years.

“We don’t want the same risk again so we’ve changed our business model,” Sarah says.

Minty and Sarah have brought The Mews back in a pop-up format because there still is a place for instore retail.

Their pop -p locations and times can be found on their website:

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