Australian streetwear retailer General Pants is gearing up to open its first New Zealand store in Auckland in October.
The youth fashion chain that originated in Sydney will open its first of a string of planned New Zealand stores in Westfield Newmarket's mega-mall.
General Pants chief executive Sasha Laing told the Herald General Pants would open multiple stores in Auckland this year, followed by stores in Christchurch, then Wellington.
He was unable to confirm where else in Auckland the other stores would open.
"The New Zealand market represents a great opportunity for General Pants and we anticipate to open a number of stores over the next two years," Laing said.
"We already have a strong online business in New Zealand and with a local store network as a multi-channel retailer this not only gives our customers great choice but also easy access to all our brands."
General Pants has 54 stores located throughout Australia, and stores in New York and Los Angeles through its Ksubi brand.
New Zealand will be the General Pants brand's first market for international expansion.
Laing said Newmarket was an ideal location for the brand's first local store as it had always been considered a "fashion hub for Auckland".
He told Inside Retail that the country's youth and music culture drove the retailer's decision to "cross the ditch".
"General Pants has always been embedded in music and fashion, and the New Zealand subculture around that has always been aligned [with that]. We just think it's a great fit," he said about its decision to launch here.
General Pants recently moved into a new fulfilment centre in Australia that has enabled it to offer more delivery options for online orders, including same-day and after-hours delivery.
Retail analyst Chris Wilkinson said General Pants would be successful in New Zealand as it would bring a foray of popular brands to market that are currently not available in physical retail, such as Patagonia and Harley Davidson.
"They are smart operators, their stores are typically large, and they deliver great retail theatre; they will be a welcomed addition to the New Zealand retail scene," Wilkinson said.
General Pants stores were "high energy environments" and had a "magic mix" of scale and recognised brands, Wilkinson said.
"It's just like a North Beach or an Amazon but on a bigger scale."
Wilkinson said the brand was moving quickly to establish a store network. "We're seeing more and more of that happen with these big retailers now. If you look at Sephora, we know they are going into Sylvia Park, now they are talking about Wellington and Christchurch."
Launching multiple stores at once would enable the brand to position its dominance and allow the company to leverage marketing initiatives.
"If you move into a market quite quickly that helps you create a fairly dominant position."
General Pants earlier this month began advertising for local New Zealand staff, including a store manager for one of its Auckland stores.