H&M did it and now Spark has followed that lead.
The telco has leased a multi-level shop space in the new $940 million Commercial Bay complex in downtown Auckland, planned to open later next year.
After August, when the clothing retailer opened its CBD flagship store on the Queen St/Customs St corner, Spark now perceives value in setting up shop in what is expected to be a busy retail zone, with a cut-through laneway to link Lower Queen St with Lower Albert St.
Chris Fletcher, Spark's head of retail, this morning announced the business had signed a lease with landlord Precinct Properties, taking on a "three-level flagship store" at the bottom of the 40-level tower which is now at level 34.
The area of the store, annual rent payments and length of the lease are undisclosed but high-end retail space in Auckland's CBD goes for at least $2000/sq m a year.
The 782sq m store will be at between Customs St West and the new lower Queen Street on the corner of the new cut-through laneway which will lead to lower Albert St.
With that new store, Spark plans to deliver a new message and a change of emphasis or image, Fletcher said.
"We want to shift away from a traditional telco shopping experience," he said. The company's stores were no longer just places to buy a new broadband plan or just a cellphone anymore, Fletcher said.
"Our customers come in because they want advice on how to navigate their way through a range of technologies and digital choices," he said.
So the new Commercial Bay store would offer people a much broader experience because Spark was now becoming a destination for more services such as a sports and entertainment experience, Fletcher said.
"They want advice on how to get their WiFi working brilliantly. They want to know what we can offer them to keep them more entertained or make their lives simpler to organise. Ultimately, they want to touch and feel the options – and then speak to an expert to help them make those choices," Fletcher said.
As Telecom NZ in 2010, the business opened a new "concept store" on the Victoria St West/Harding St corner Telecom but that shut and has for some years been a convenience store.