Precinct Properties has unveiled its final list of the retailers set to open in its $1 billion downtown Auckland Commercial Bay development this time next month.
The three-level inner-city shopping and dining centre, in the final stages of construction, will be home to 120 retailers and about 35 food and beverage operators.
London-based fashion retailer Cos will open its first New Zealand store within Commercial Bay, a flagship site spread across two floors, taking over an anchor corner spot within the development, joining already-opened Swedish fashion retailer H&M, Spark and menswear retailer Rod & Gunn on opposite corners of the property.
Australian jeans brand General Pants has also taken on a large retail site within the development, along with fellow Australian lifestyle and apparel retailer Husk, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, Hershel Supply Co and Scotch & Soda - all new-to-New Zealand retailers.
Along lower Queen St next to Cos, Lululemon, cosmetics retailer Mecca and Hugo Boss will open stores. Activewear brand Lorna Jane will open a store in the "Little Queen St laneway" next to H&M. The Little Queen St laneway has been designed to be a nod to New Zealand fashion designers.
Other retailers set to open stores in the centre next month include luxury handbag brand Furla, Barkers, Superette, 3 Wise Men, Kookai, Just Another Fisherman, Sandro & Maje, Storm, Federation, Asics, Icebreaker, twenty-seven names, Ripcurl, L'Occitane, Solect and Parfums Christian Dior.
Precinct Properties chief executive Scott Pritchard told the Herald the shopping centre had been designed to be "the opposite" of a typical shopping mall, and was expected to draw in more than 10 million people each year.
"Your experience is going to be unique here. People, when they visit, they'll be surprised. There's some nooks and crannies and some interesting things to find within the centre, and people are going to love the fact that it's integrating an entire city block, three towers, as well as a whole lot of civic space. We can't wait to open it," Pritchard said.
Many of the new-to-market brands including Husk and General Pants were attracted to Commercial Bay because of its "city-centre location". Retailers also liked being close in proximity to Queen St, he said.
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"That area of lower Queen St is going to be remarkable once it is complete - a new civic space for Auckland - it will be really similar to some of the other global flagship cities around the world."
Sacha Laing, chief executive of General Pants, said the denim retailer's Commercial Bay store would mark its first CBD store within New Zealand.
The retailer opened its first two New Zealand stores, in Christchurch and Westfield Newmarket, in October last year. Laing said its Commercial Bay store would offers Aucklanders a new retail experience.
"We think what we have to offer is exactly what they are looking for and perhaps haven't had access to before," Laing told the Herald.
"We think that the Commercial Bay development is of a world-class standard and to have our first CBD store in that centre, we are very excited about," he said.
"We think that the brand assortment the Precinct [team] have put together for that development is going to set New Zealand retail on a new standard."
Laing was unable to disclose how much the retailer had spent to fit out the Commercial Bay store, but said it was "representative of a flagship investment".
Commercial Bay's food and beverage offering ranges from cafes, street food vendors through its HarbourEats food court through to Michelin-star restaurants.
Food and beverage, which would make up about 30 per cent of the shops, was important for the success of the centre, Pritchard said.
"We all know retail has been changing and so it's important to be able to offer a really good level of experience in a retail overing ... a day out now consists of more than just looking in retail stores," he said.
"We see our food and beverage acting as an anchor for the centre."
Pritchard describes Commercial Bay as "edgy and unique" and "not typical": "We've really tried to not create a shopping mall, we've tried hard to create an extension of the city centre and so it is a bit gritty and it doesn't feel like you are in a polished shopping mall environment that faces inwards, it faces outwards and it's got laneways and amazing natural light."