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Sights Set On New Zealand Growth

The Cotton On Group has announced plans to grow its New Zealand business by 50 percent over the next three years through its e-commerce platform and an increased store footprint.

The projected growth will be supported by over 900 new roles added to the Group’s country team across retail, design, marketing, digital, e-commerce and logistics. The positions will bolster the local operations as it focuses on delivering world class experiences for New Zealand customers.

The plans were announced in New Zealand this week as part of a team conference and in-store business event hosted by the Group. The business event saw corporate partners and media join the retailer's team members in its Queen Street Cotton On megastore, which that day had been the business' top performing store globally.

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Earlier in the day, the team event brought together over 130 people from across the Group’s New Zealand operations including team members from its local head office, Distribution Centre and retail functions.

Representatives from the retailer’s headquarters in Australia travelled to the country for the event including Chief Financial Officer Michael Hardwick and Group Executive, People Culture Pippa Grange. They joined New Zealand Country Manager Mark Singleton in recognising the significant contribution of the New Zealand business and its team to the Group’s global success whilst also providing insights into the retailer’s strategy for the country over the next three years.

A key part of the three year strategy will include the Group opening a new head office in the country early next year. Located in central Auckland, it will be designed to meet the specific needs of New Zealand team members, charged with driving the retailer’s local strategy.

Cotton On Group Chief Financial Officer, Michael Hardwick, says the Group’s ongoing investment in New Zealand is testament to the strong results the country continues to deliver.

“New Zealand was the first international market we entered outside Australia back in 2006 and since then it has been the impetus for our global growth as we’ve expanded into 17 countries worldwide. Today, New Zealand is one of our top three performing countries globally and, as a result, continues to be one of the markets we look to when gauging customer reaction – whether its new products and collections or new store design.”

The Group will also focus on strengthening its online presence in the country through its recently re-launched multimillion dollar e-commerce platform. Offering access to the very latest products and localised customer support, the platform allows customers to shop by trend and across the Group’s seven brands, providing an experience that reflects what they’ve come to expect in the retailer’s bricks and mortar stores.

“We believe the digital and social area of our business will deliver significant growth both in New Zealand and globally, so we need to ensure we are well positioned to best meet the evolving needs of our customers and their increasingly digital lifestyles,” Hardwick says.

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Singleton says the Group’s planned expansion in the country and the addition of over 900 roles is an exciting prospect for local retail professionals.

“As our New Zealand business grows, we’ll continue to look for the industry’s very best to join our team. There is an amazing talent pool here and we want to keep tapping into this to find the right people to support the exciting plans we have for the country.”

He adds that the Group’s strong emphasis on creating engaging and fulfilling careers for its people is helping to position the business as a workplace of choice.

“The global scale of the Group means we can offer our team members fantastic opportunities for job progression and professional development. Whether it’s right here in New Zealand or a new role in a different country, we believe in nurturing long term retail careers for our people at all levels of our business – I think that makes us a really exciting proposition for our New Zealand retail professionals.”

As part of its global growth strategy, the Cotton On Group is set to add another 570 stores to its international footprint in the next three years, taking its store count to over 1900 worldwide. Five stores are set to open in New Zealand before Christmas this year. 

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