New stores for Bay shopping complex

By David Porter, Business Writer

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Four new stores are coming to Fashion Island in Papamoa. Photo/file
Four new stores are coming to Fashion Island in Papamoa. Photo/file

Five new stores will open at Papamoa's Fashion Island as part of a revamp that includes a major facelift, rebranding and summer events.

Fashion Island marketing manager Barbara Bentley said Cotton On was bringing in some of its successful brands to rejuvenate the centre, then bringing in other brands to complement and bring it to life.

The first new stores to open would be Supre and Cotton On Kids at the end of this month, followed by Cotton On.

Fashion Island has also attracted two new brands to the Bay, women's fashion store Dejcuba, opening at the end of this month, and Converse Apparel, opening mid-November.

"Those stores aren't available anywhere else in the region," said Ms Bentley.

As well as new stores, the centre would be getting a major facelift with rebranding and events also planned.

The overhaul started this week after Australian retail chain Cotton On bought the centre in March.

Cotton On Group co-owner Ashley Hardwick and group property manager Sam Curwood are heading the revamp and are expected to visit Tauranga this week, said Ms Bentley.

"The future vision and plan is to offer a complementary range of brands that will appeal to a wide catchment - from youth to male and mature female shoppers - reflecting the needs and wants of the diverse demographic and population growth."

The revamp also includes the re-cladding of the shopping centre, which began this week, and was due to be completed by next month.

PeddleThorp Architects in Hamilton and Tauranga construction company Marra have been hired to undertake the work.

PeddleThorp's Mike Angelo said the exterior refurbishment would involve a recladding of the existing covering of ply and cedar with painted fibre cement boards over the coming weeks.

"The old cladding is tired and this will give it a more modern look with new colours," he said.

"There will be a bit of disruption on site as stores are being fitted out, but we hope that customers will appreciate the vision for an enhanced shopper experience to come very soon."

Ms Bentley said Fashion Island would also be rebranded and there are plans for a series of new events over the Christmas-New Year season to celebrate the new store openings.

Retail Solutions director Simon Revell, who has worked with Cotton On Group for many years, said: "Papamoa will benefit from such a highly successful global retail company seeing the opportunity to make positive change and a true difference to Fashion Island."

In April, the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend revealed ACC lost $10.1 million dollars on the sale of Fashion Island while the new owners made $1.15 million by on-selling it to Cotton On Group for $6.25m before the deal was even settled.

The revamp comes amid major upgrades to neighbouring Papamoa Plaza and just weeks after the opening of stage one of the city's newest shopping complex - Tauranga Crossing.

Papamoa Plaza manager David Hill said the centre's $20 million Plaza re-development was "bang on track" with an opening celebration planned for November 27.

The food court would be opening at the end of this month with outlets including Smile Sushi, Hot Wok, Great Spice, Petra Kebabs, Burger Foundry, Pita Pit and Tank Juice.

Mr Hill said other shops would be opening sporadically between now and the official opening.

"We've still got builders on site right up until the end of November."

Excited shoppers

Fifteen-year-old Tanika Sowry is already planning a road trip with her girlfriends when the new Supre at Fashion Island opens at the end of the month.

Tanika Sowry, 15, is excited for the new fashion shops coming to Fashion Island. Photo/John Borren
Tanika Sowry, 15, is excited for the new fashion shops coming to Fashion Island. Photo/John Borren

When the old Supre in Tauranga CBD closed a couple years ago, Tanika, of Bellvue, was disappointed, saying she used to shop there, especially for shorts.

"There's no shop in Tauranga with the same kind of stuff," she said.

Her friends would be similarly excited and Tanika said she would visit the new store.

"There are other stores I like out there too. But Supre has cool clothes. I like the shorts, they have great colours."

Tanika thought Tauranga could use more shops to provide more variety.

She would most like to see a Mac makeup store or a Lush come to town.

Fashion Island
Built in 2006
Bought by ACC in early 2007 for $15.2 million
Sold by ACC for $5.1 million
Sold by a group of Tauranga developers for $6.25 million
Both sales settled on March 31
Has 20 tenancies and forms part of a larger retail hub

Cotton On Group
An Australian-headquartered retail empire that has grown from just two stores in 1991 to more than 1300 stores across eight brands in 19 countries.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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