ASX-listed shoe retailer Accent Group is pushing on with its expansion plans as it seeks to secure a bigger share of New Zealand's footwear market.
Accent Group, which owns and operates retail chains including Platypus, Sketchers, Hype, Dr. Martens and Athlete's Foot, will open three new stores in New Zealand in the next month.
It plans to add at least another 70 stores to its New Zealand portfolio over the next 10 years, to take its store network to between 100 and 150 locations. It currently operates 46 stores through its various brands.
Accent Group operates 15 Platypus stores, 10 Sketchers stores, 10 Athlete's Foot stores, five Hype stores and soon-to-be two Dr Martens locations.
On Saturday, the group will launch its newest offering - Subtype - a high-end shoe brand, selling footwear priced between A$300 and A$700, including Kayne West-creations Yeezys and limited edition Nike and Adidas styles.
The store will open in Westfield Newmarket's luxury retail precinct alongside the likes of Louis Vuitton. It is one of the first retailers to open stores in the luxury portion of the Auckland shopping centre.
Next month it will open another Hype store, Sketchers store and Dr. Martens store in Wellington.
Daniel Agostinelli, chief executive of Accent Group, said the company was eyeing "a ton of growth in New Zealand" following significant year-on-year growth over the past eight years.
Agostinelli said the group planned to open another six to eight Platypus stores, 10 Sketchers stores and expand the Athlete's Foot network in New Zealand over the next two years. It also has a new children's wear brand in Australia called The Trybe which it plans to introduce in New Zealand.
"We're excited to be expanding in New Zealand, where we are seeing sustainable growth and customers that seem to like what we do," Agostinelli told the Herald.
"We're expecting to continually grow in New Zealand and as we look for new businesses or acquisitions."
Accent Group was originally founded in Dunedin in 1981 and today is headquartered in Melbourne. The group was founded in New Zealand but quickly expanded into Australia.
It launched its retail business in New Zealand eight years ago.
Agostinelli said describes the success of Platypus in New Zealand as "dynamite" and puts the success of the groups retails brands down to the rise in popularity of sneakers among youth.
"People want to wear fashionable comfortable shoes and sneakers fit that mould. The industry overall is continuing to see growth; you only need to read updates on trading performances from Adidas, Nike, Puma and you sort of get an idea - and we're the people that sell their products so we've been having an encouraging time over the past four or five years."
Accent Group plans to take the Subtype brand global, including to Tokyo, Los Angeles and London within the next five years. The first Subtype store opened in Melbourne in May last year, with others set to open in Sydney and Brisbane.
Subtype was founded by an Australian entrepreneur Leith Testoni seven years ago and was acquired by Accent Group two years ago.
"These stores are not meant to be commercial and rolled out like Platypus, the footwear availability in these types of stores is those that are hard to get, limited runs."
Accent Group said surging online sales helped drive the company's strong earnings this year, up 10 per cent on the A$108.9 million ebitda posted a year earlier.
It made total sales of A$923 million in the 2020 financial year ending June 21.
Following its full-year earnings posted to the ASX, the group's share price was up 10 per cent today, trading at A$1.50 at 4pm.
Agostinelli said trading across the group post-lockdown had recovered and was now trading at pre-Covid-19 levels. Its suburban mall stores had been trading better than its city centre locations.
Accent Group operates more than 450 stores in Australia.