Fuseworks Media

Iconic outlet centre bucks retail trends in leadup to Christmas

New Zealand’s much-loved outlet shopping destination Dress Smart Auckland is bucking retail trends in the leadup to Christmas, with increased foot traffic despite a tough economic climate.

New data shows foot traffic for the first two weeks of December is up 8.3% on December 2022.

This follows a busy November with shoppers flocking to the outlet centre during the week of Black Friday sales, with foot traffic up 17% on the same period last year. The upward trend remained throughout the month of November, with sales up 5% on November 2022.

In a challenging environment for the sector, where retailers nationwide noticed a 10% decrease in Black Friday sales, Dress Smart Auckland is holding strong as a destination of choice for savvy shoppers.

Dress Smart Auckland Centre Manager Linh Luong says the statistics show that shoppers are looking for value with their Christmas spend.

“We’re really pleased that we’re continuing to see a strong upward trend in foot traffic here at Dress Smart Auckland,” she says.

“We have a mix of premium and high street brands, meaning that we can give shoppers at multiple price points a chance to make their money go further.”

Managed by Oyster Property Group, Dress Smart Auckland’s centrally located shopping centre is home to more than 100 brands, from premium fashion brands to high street favourites, plus sports and outdoor stores.

Aware of the pressures on customers’ incomes, Luong says some retailers started their Black Friday sales in early November – an initiative that is likely to have contributed to the surge in foot traffic during the week of the annual sales day, which has come to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season.

For Hine Tuatagaloa, Store Manager at Coach, the foot traffic statistics for November and December back up the sense of momentum retailers are noticing at Dress Smart Auckland.

“We’ve certainly noticed our customer numbers trending upwards in the leadup to Christmas. There’s always a great energy in the centre at this time of year,” says Tautagaloa.

“We’re continuing to see a variety of customers connecting with our brand, whether they’re treating themselves or buying something to put under the Christmas tree.”

Reflecting upon 2023, Oyster Property Group’s Asset Manager – Retail Jennifer Andrews says the Centre is buoyed by its strong connection to the Onehunga community and a tight-knit group of retailers.

“Having been here for more than 25 years and being positioned in central Auckland, Dress Smart is well established as a destination for shoppers from the region and beyond. Our retailers and our customers benefit from that longstanding reputation.”


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