It was announced in the New Zealand media tonight that historical department store Kirkcaldie and Stains (a.k.a ‘Kirk’s’) will be closing its doors in Wellington in early 2016.
I was a little saddened by this news, particularly because of the history of this store. I guess it is always hard to see something go that has become so familiar since you were a kid. Kirk’s as it is so familiarly known is the oldest store in New Zealand having been in business since 1863. Still trading under its original name, it is one of only 3 ‘family’ department stores that remain in NZ – Smith and Caughey in Auckland and Ballentynes in Christchurch being the others.
It could be considered no surprise, with the tough financial markets we have had since 2008, the rise of online shopping and the fast fashion movement growing, however something I have noticed over the past 12 months is the resurgence in the number of retail stores opening their doors in NZ, (Seed Heritage, Top Shop, French Connection to name a few), or brands spending major dollars on doing stunning reno’s (Witchery and Country Road). So why is it that some are thriving and others not? Fast paced consumerism? An increasingly fickle public?
With the end of an era, comes the start of a new one and who will fill the shoes of Kirk’s but Australian favourite David Jones! I am little excited that they have chosen Wellington to open their first NZ store, I will be ready and waiting come mid 2016 to head straight to the footwear section to try me a pair of Jimmy Choos. Now if only Neiman Marcus would take the journey across the waters!
So with a mix of nostalgia and excitement, as is the fickle nature of fashion, when one door closes, another opens.
Photo Credit – Stuff.co.nz