Mecca is moving into the former Topshop retail space in Wellington, bringing its first standalone Mecca concept store to New Zealand.
The Australian beauty retailer, which recently opened a large Mecca Maxima store in Wellington CBD, has secured the bottom level of the Lambton Quay site, formerly home to Topshop, and will open the new store later in the year.
Mecca confirmed it was in the planning stages of opening the new concept store in Wellington, similar to the one located at the Bondi Junction in Sydney.
The retailer already operates Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima stores in New Zealand but the concept store - simply branded "MECCA" - will be its largest to date.
The concept store originated as a concession within a number of Myer department stores in Australia, but opened its first standalone shop in October last year.
Mecca founder Jo Horgan said the retailer had a "unique niche in the market".
"I think the beauty landscape is very much global and this drives and motivates us further," Horgan said. "Having been in the New Zealand market for more than 10 years, we have a lot of learnings under our belt but recognise we have many more to go which is what keeps it interesting."
Rival cosmetics retailer Sephora is tipped to open its first New Zealand store "within months". It is not yet known where or when.
The French company has a local New Zealand website and the name Sephora New Zealand Limited has been reserved with Companies Office.
First Retail Group managing director Chris Wilkinson said it was possible Mecca took on the Lambton Quay space to block Sephora.
"If Mecca have taken that second site, it would be a strategic move to block Sephora - particularly as Wellington's prime retail strip is finite and tightly held.
"In the main cities, such as Auckland and Wellington, where there is a significant daytime population, there is room for two operators of scale and profile - such as Sephora and Mecca to go head-to-head," Wilkinson said. "The brands each have a different store experience, but essentially target a similar customer demographic."
Wilkinson said Mecca had been useful in re-engaging consumers - many of which would otherwise shop online.
"Sephora is a favourite destination for New Zealanders, when they travel, so having stores open locally will be useful in stemming spending and goodwill attrition."
A source confirmed to the Herald that a new retail tenant had also secured the former Topshop retail site located on Auckland's Queen Street.
The tenant, who has not yet been disclosed, is expected to "be in" the space "within the next few months".
Mecca opened its first New Zealand store in Auckland's Ponsonby in 2007.