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Designers disagree on ‘opportunities’ for growth

Designers disagree on ‘opportunities’ for growth

Following the announcement that one of New Zealand's top bridal-wear designers will be ceasing trade, entrepreneur and fashion designer, Annah Stretton believes ‘blamed’ reasons for her fellow designer’s closure were wasted opportunities rather than roadblocks.

After 10 years in operation Sera Lilly has attributed online shopping and cheap imports as the catalyst for ending her bridal retail trade.

"We have always been proudly New Zealand made, but it has become increasingly more difficult to do this with the cheaper imported goods from China and other Asian countries,” she told the NZ Herald*.
Lilly said online shopping had also had a huge effect on local retailers and producers.

Lilly follows a string of designers to shut up shop in the past 12 months including Collette Dinnigan, Lisa Ho and Kirrily Johnston.

With more than two decades experience in the fashion industry, Waikato based Stretton continues to grow her brand and following by capitalizing every opportunity for growth.

“Sure online shopping and operating globally will have an impact on all business but success and survival is all about being able to rethink traditional business models so that the new trading environment becomes one that works and yields results… not one that we blame for our downturns,” Stretton states.

“According to the Nielsen NZ Online Retail Report June 2013 54% of Kiwis aged over 18 years are now shopping online, an increase from 38 percent of New Zealanders five years ago. New Zealanders spent $3.7 billion in the last 12 months purchasing via the internet and 37.8% of Kiwi online shoppers bought Clothing, Shoes or Accessories online in 2012.”

“I am loving the opportunities that are being yielded from playing on a global stage. Business has never been so good.”

“And as for the digital platforms, nothing gets more exciting than this. Global business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales passed 1 trillion euros in 2013 and the total number of Internet users increased from 2.2 billion to approximately 3.5 billion according to the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG)*.
We have the opportunity to commence trade with so many different countries without the cost of a brick and mortar store.”

Stretton cautions other designers that if they don't make the changes to their business models now, not only will they not enjoy what this exciting platform of trade can yield but we are likely to see the closure of many more small business models.

“Good business will always evolve from a balance of both unbridled enthusiasm and reflective evaluation and planning.”


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