While Channel, Tiffany & Co, Topshop, Zara and H&M grabbed big headlines when they opened new stores here, a new group of huge Australian retailing chains has arrived.

Chris Wilkinson of First Retail Group said most of the businesses had opened in the past few months, selling homeware and furniture, shoes and optical products.

However, one big business opened more than two years ago, and the arrival of such giants widened the offering for kiwis, Wilkinson said.

One Australian retailer which has opened here is more than a century old, all are well-established across the Tasman and have long track records, Wilkinson said.


They came to capitalise on New Zealand's strong retail sector "and in many cases, they're exhausting domestic growth opportunities and compared to Australia, the retail market here has been relatively robust".

1. Adairs

"Australia's leading independent retailer for manchester including bedroom, bathroom, homewares, furniture and kids" and has already opened new stores at Sylvia Park in Auckland, Tauranga's Bayfair and Wellington's Thorndon Quay.

The business had annual sales of A$247.4m in 2016, up 17 per cent in its latest period: "International expansion commences with the signing of stores in New Zealand. Thirteen new stores opened and nine store fully refurbished," it said in the 2016 annual report.

2. Wittner Shoes

Only in Wellington, so far. Opened on Featherston St in a dedicated store. As well, they have shoe stock in David Jones, giving them double the exposure in the Capital. Not yet in Auckland.

Hayley Holt wearing shoes by Wittner, which has opened in Wellington. Photo/Norrie Montgomery
Hayley Holt wearing shoes by Wittner, which has opened in Wellington. Photo/Norrie Montgomery

Wilkinson said more stores are expected.

"Wittner Shoes been passionate about shoes for a very long time. Since 1912 to be exact, starting as a family business dedicated to designing high quality fashion footwear that not only looks beautiful but makes you feel it too," the business says.


Hayley Holt was featured wearing Wittner shoes at a SkyCity event two years ago.

3. Bailey Nelson

This relatively new optometrist business was founded in trendy Bondi Beach in 2012, but now has 25 "boutiques" in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and England. It has taken the most national approach of any of the new breed of Australian retailers, with stores at 160 Ponsonby Rd, on Takapuna's Hurstmere Rd, Willis St in Wellington and Westfield Riccarton in Christchurch.

4. King Living

This giant Australian furniture and homeware business opened about two years ago in New Zealand, Wilkinson said. It has only just dipped its toes in here so far, starting a huge store at 535 Parnell Rd in Auckland: "As the King Living flagship, our Auckland showroom features an impressive range of King Living award-winning sofas and designer furniture including beds, dining and storage, as well as the former Italy collection," the business says.

King Living is between Newmarket and Parnell near the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The business says: "King Living is famous for designing and manufacturing contemporary, award-winning furniture, since 1977. Every year King Living introduces new designs and takes advantage of new technologies to offer customers the very best furniture. Comfort, style, sophistication and durability are the key features of every King Living sofa."

5. Nick Scali Furniture

Not yet here, but might open next year, Wilkinson said. This is one of Australia's biggest homeware retailers.

The company said it was looking to open three to four stores here to meet its target of opening around 75 stores in Australia and New Zealand, he said.

Nick Scali has showrooms throughout Australia and says it was established more than 50 years ago and is now one of Australia's largest importers of quality furniture

"Nick Scali sources its products from around the world, and imports directly from some of the largest and most respected manufacturers globally. In 2015 Nick Scali expanded to the west coast of Australia, opening three Perth-based showrooms," the business says.

Nick Scali is expected to take big premises and open initially in Auckland, although nothing has been confirmed.