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Retail far from dead as Kiwi businesses get savvy

ANZ Media Release
Sunday 11 December

Retail far from dead as Kiwi businesses get savvy about Christmas sales
ANZ hosts pop-up market to help businesses connect with new customers

Jeremy Coombes from Best Ugly Bagels at the ANZ pop-up market.
Even with the Christmas rush, Kiwi retailers aren’t sitting back and waiting for customers to come to them – they’re out hunting them down.

And ANZ is providing them with a unique opportunity to get noticed.

“Three years ago one of our customers came to us with an idea on how we could generate some business to business networking for them as well as an opportunity to get in front of a new group of customers,” ANZ’s Managing Director, Commercial & Agri Mark Hiddleston says.

That was the beginning of the ANZ Market Day, the pop-up market this year hosted 21 businesses in the ANZ pavilion at their Albert Street headquarters, with upwards of 1000 people moving through the event generating over $115,000 in sales.

Hiddleston says the success of the event shows how retail businesses aren’t just relying on traditional consumer sales this Christmas.

“We are seeing a real move towards business to business marketing, something traditionally done by big or wholesale companies. And to do that they are relying on business partners, other organisations they buy or sell products and services to or from.”

Best Ugly Bagels were back again this year with their pop-up stall, getting in early for the popular event.

“It’s really good, ANZ have a cluster of some nice brands there, and we like to get involved in that kind of thing and get out of the office. Little activations are great for us as well as the customers.” Best Ugly Bagels National Operations Manager Jeremy Coombes says.

Consumer retail trends change quickly, Retail NZ says consumer habits are telling a story retailers can’t ignore.

“We are seeing internationally and in New Zealand a move by online only stores to establish a bricks and mortar presence,” Retail NZ spokesman Greg Harford says. “This is because customers increasingly want to be able to go into a store, they want to be able to touch and feel the goods in many cases, and have a personal interaction.”

“Many retailers are looking to engage with their customers in a different way, they are looking to make the shopping experience exciting and interesting and to create a lasting experience for the customer,” Harford says, “and a pop-up store allows that to happen in many ways.”

Bagel love – Best Ugly Bagels Pop-Up
For Best Ugly Bagels, an artisan bagel business, pop-up retail allows them to utilise one of the strongest human senses – smell - as a way to draw in customers.
“At all our pop-ups we are toasting bagels, and the one we really like to toast is our cinnamon raisin bagel because it has such a distinctive smell. It has a feel good, cinnamon, hot cross buns on Easter morning emotion it seems to generate.” Best Ugly Bagels National Operations Manager Jeremy Coombes says. “And the other thing to get across is to talk people through our point of difference in that all our bagels are hand rolled and cooked in a wood fired oven.”
Best Ugly Bagels are hand-made, hand-rolled and boiled then fired in a purpose-built stone oven, but Coombes says that commitment to quality which sets them apart from other brands in the marketplace comes with challenges.
“A lot of supermarket customers are basically shopping on price and if they haven’t experienced Best Ugly Bagels in one of our branches it is kind of hard to connect and it’s kind of hard to put across the value proposition of our bagels and why they are so much more expensive.”
“But if we can actually connect to them face to face, and whether that is in one of our stores or in a little pop-up, get them to try the bagels and talk them through the story you know it is a much easier sell,” Coombes says.
Overseas Trends
New York Pop-up retail Queen and author of The Pop-Up Paradigm Melissa Gonzalez says using temporary retail is a great way to generate customer loyalty, understand new markets, test concepts and more.
Her company, The Lionesque Group, has identified that over the last couple of years the average pop-up they work with sees a 35% increase in sales over a 6 month period and outside of that 50% see an average increase of 30% on social media engagement over the lifespan of the pop-up.
“The top benefits, outside of sales, can include brand awareness with press, media, influencers and customers, customer education – such as allowing you to give customers a more in-depth education of your value proposition and the product offerings – and experiencing a bricks and mortar environment,” Gonzalez says.
So are pop-ups a temporary trend? Gonzalez thinks not, but they will evolve she says. “I see a lot of brands investing more in mobile pop-ups, wanting to take it on the road and getting really creative with kiosks. They are seeing they can utilise social media to see where to find them next.”
Trends Kiwi businesses are well placed to follow ANZ’s Mark Hiddleston says.
“This is a another great example of New Zealand retail businesses getting really smart about how they connect with customers in the lead up to Christmas.”

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