Iconic furniture and appliance retailer moving with the times
Smiths City has officially moved from its former central location to a new home after serving the Cantabrians for more than 100 years.
The legendary furniture and appliance retailer opens its new flagship store today in The Colombo, Sydenham, a location previously occupied by Spotlight until last year.
It has also been renamed with a new logo to reflect the beginning of a new era.
General Manager Tony Allison was delighted with the launch and said they moved to Sydenham to have a “more local approach” and to be in the heart of a community rather than the central business district.
The decisions behind the move were a combination of the store’s change of ownership earlier this year and the expiration of the lease on the former Colombo Street store in the coming months.
It was now owned by Colin Neal of Polar Capital.
“It’s a great opportunity. We’ve been to big cities, but we moved to feel more local and to get to the suburbs that will be more like us going forward, ”Allison said.
“The retail experience has also been improved. The look, the textures, the colors – everything is a lot livelier now, I think. “
Shoppers can expect a modern and welcoming atmosphere, new facilities, an updated range of products and interactive events.
The new building is almost half the size of the former site and has been reduced from 6600 m² to 3233 m².
A “smile” has been embedded in his new logo to celebrate what it means to be a Kiwi – “warm, sincere and honest” – while performing his services with a “cheeky” grin.
New beginnings meant new approaches to the delivery of services.
“Everyone in retail looks over their shoulder to see what everyone else is doing. They go – how can we beat them?” he said.
“We want to do the opposite, if everyone else is twitching, we want to be twitching. We want to be honest, good service kiwi traders who know our products and tell you honestly what they are [product] will do.
“We don’t want to bully customers with buzzwords and technical data in order to achieve a sale. We want to do the right thing for the customer.”
Allison was worried about the future despite the new business.
“If you’re not concerned about what’s going on at this point, you’re probably not thinking hard enough,” he said.
“We have to be aware of what is happening to the economy and be prepared.”