Chadstone welcomes Thomas Sabo flagship
By Aaron Weinman
Jewellery brand Thomas Sabo opened its inaugural Victorian flagship store last weekend.
After spending years attempting to establish a retail outlet in Melbourne, Thomas Sabo has secured a space in one of Australia’s best-known shopping centres, Chadstone.
Phil Edwards, managing director of Duraflex Group, the Australian and New Zealand distributor of Thomas Sabo, told Jeweller he was elated with the opening.
With three flagship stores in New South Wales and two in Western Australia, Edwards said the company had been eyeing locations in Victoria over the last three years, but difficulties in finding the appropriate position stalled any decisions.
Chadstone, however, with its popularity among locals and abundance of international brands, was considered the perfect location of the successful German brand.
“We see Chadstone as an iconic location,” Edwards said. “We had a look at different sites every two weeks over the last three years but felt this was best for the brand.”
Opting for a soft opening, Edwards said a more extravagant official launch would follow in the New Year once the store is settled and operating smoothly.
“Through my conservative nature, it’s simply safer to open small and have a grand opening at a later stage,” Edwards said. “This is our first flagship store in Melbourne and I don’t want to risk anything going wrong.”
“We aim to open a second store in the Melbourne CBD by 2013,” Edwards said. “But that is all the flagship stores we wish to have.”
After nurturing strong relationships with stockists, however, Edwards is intent not to disturb the wholesale market the company has established. The managing director characterises flagship stores as a direct marketing tool, rather than a “cash-cow.”
“We see the flagship stores as a point of difference, this is why we have so few in such important locations,” Edwards said. “We already have about 60 [Melbourne] stockists and don’t want to damage the wholesale market we’ve established.”
After acquiring exclusive distribution rights for Thomas Sabo in 2006, Edwards says the brand has grown again this year. He added that Thomas Sabo has gained significant brand recognition in the local market, with a new range due next February.
“We still consider ourselves a new kid on the block,” Edwards added. “The brand is growing and it’s consistently re-inventing itself to meet the demands of the market.”
Thomas Sabo’s new store a hit
Posted November 15, 2011