Fashion Island will launch Cotton On Kids this weekend in the first in a series of store openings this month that it says will reinvigorate the Papamoa shopping centre's profile.

Australian retail chain Cotton On acquired the troubled centre earlier this year and has announced plans to bring a number of new brands into the Bay of Plenty, leveraging off its own in-house labels.

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Cotton On Group co-owner Ashley Hardwick and group property manager Sam Curwood, together with a full team of brand managers, visited the centre last month to kick-start a re-invigoration programme, which also includes an exterior recladding, said Barbara Bentley, the centre's marketing manager and spokeswoman.

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The Cotton On Kids launch will include child-friendly activities and food trucks. It will run from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The next brand launch will be of women's fashion label Decjuba on November 11, with Supre, aimed at a younger female demographic, opening the following day.

The Decjuba store in St Lukes, Auckland, offers a glimpse of what the new store planned for Papamoa could look like. Photo/NZME
The Decjuba store in St Lukes, Auckland, offers a glimpse of what the new store planned for Papamoa could look like. Photo/NZME

The Decjuba store is the first to open in the Bay of Plenty. The flagship Converse Apparel, another first for the Bay, and Cotton On stores will open by the end of November, said Ms Bentley.

During their visit from head office, the Cotton On management team was also evaluating the centre with a view to seeing what other brands from its portfolio would work in Fashion Island, she said.

"More brands will be opening throughout January, which we can't announce yet," said Ms Bentley.

"As we've always said, we're attracting specific fashion brands that aren't available in the Bay of Plenty to really give that core appeal and offering to the market."

She noted although the exterior of shopping centre was still being renovated and scaffolding was up, it was business as usual.

A launch event for the revamped Fashion Island has been scheduled for December 18, when the renovations are due to be completed, to kick-start the pre-Christmas shopping week.

Simon Revell, director of Retail Solutions, which is leasing out the centre, said the centre's stores were already seeing a lift in sales.

"That's through public awareness that things are changing and new brands are coming to the centre."


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.