Fashion retailer moves shop online
It’s the end of an era for a fashion label that’s been catering for the fuller figured woman for 25 years.
The Carpenters Daughter is closing its flagship Mt Albert Rd store which is also founder Caroline Marr’s home.
Two of Marr’s three other New Zealand stores are closing too, but the label will continue to be sold online.
‘‘I’ve got to recognise what is happening in the retail world. We’re buying more and more online. I’ve got to recognise that and get creative with it,’’ Marr says.
In the late 1980s she was a young mother with little education and working as a store detective. She was a size 24 and made all of her own clothes.
‘‘That’s a big girl. Women were coming to me while I was a store detective loving what I was wearing. They wanted my look. I went and researched the market and realised that my look wasn’t what was happening.’’
Sewing and making things was a normal part of life for Marr who was brought up by creative parents.
She started her first store in Glendene but moved to Mt Albert Rd, Royal Oak, soon after.
‘‘I ended up here because I wanted a bigger house. I brought my family up here. They’ve gone and they’ve got their own families as well so it’s just getting too big and I need to give someone else the opportunity that I took 25 years ago and made a fabulous life from. And, I’m ready for the next 25 years of my life,’’ she says.
There is a much bigger range of ‘‘big girl’’ clothes available today but Marr believes her range of practical, New Zealand-made garments fill a niche.
While the world of retail is changing, Marr still enjoys face to face contact with customers and helping them develop the right look. ‘‘ Buying online isn’t always a good idea. What I’m finding is women who are coming through the door who don’t go into shops and get styled, they’re looking really bad.’’
It’s certainly not a trend for shops to close their stores and move online, Retail New Zealand chief executive Mark Johnston says.
It is increasingly common for fashion stores that have had only an online presence to open physical stores.
‘‘Customers are telling them that they really want that tactile experience of going in, touching clothes and trying them on before they buy.’’
The store’s last day of business will be in midOctober.
New chapter: The Carpenters Daughter is in for some changes, founder and managing director Caroline Marr says.