Milford realises change is needed to encourage more younger faces - the lucrative post-university, pre-baby crowd, with high-fashion tastes and fast-opening wallets. This is not a new revelation. In the s and 30s, Kirkcaldies struggled with poor profits and ageing customers. Because that, says Milford, is not negotiable. The lady playing the piano is old-fashioned. Why do we have so many people selling stuff in the store?
That's all old-fashioned.
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The doorman, the piano player, the birds, the quality of service, the fact that on the shop floor we call each other by our surnames - it's marketing. It's what our brand is. I don't think it is old-fashioned. The fact we have someone who opens the door, it's the start of the experience we create at Kirks. You dress up and act the part," he says. Neve removes his top hat and mops his head. Tufted white hair creeps towards a hearing aid, but he is bright and chatty and talks about the regulars like old friends.
He believes the touch of the Old World brings out the best in people. He sees me and all of a sudden his manners come out: It's quite funny. This is where Mrs Khandallah and Mrs Karori shop. If they don't like something, they will tell you. They will go as far as saying, 'I'm a shareholder'.
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- Kirkcaldie & Stains, Wellington: Address, Kirkcaldie & Stains Reviews: 3.5/5.
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Although Milford intends to trim office costs, there are no plans to cut staff numbers. In an age of ever-diminishing sales service, lingerie sales assistant Anne Coventry, 62, can spend an hour measuring, fitting and ferrying bras. She has been here 16 years, seen the advent of eftpos and seen retail get tougher and tougher.
Her son works in dispatch downstairs. She fields bamboo cotton singlet inquiries from a grey-haired granny and passes neon butterfly-print first bras to nervous teenagers dragged in by mum. I knew the bra straight away that I thought would work. She bought three. Eddy Meyer has something more radical in mind. With rose tattoos on his forearm, a black beanie, skinny rock-star black jeans and a World Aids Day red ribbon painted on his cheek, the year-old MAC cosmetics studio manager inhabits a parallel universe to Coventry.
Backed by booming beats, Meyer tells of the "difficult" first years of culture clash: He says Kirkcaldies must extend the edgy into the rest of the store.
Even the best makeup can’t turn back time on Kirkcaldie & Stains
I think if Kirkcaldies really wants to reach new customers, it will have to do something like that. Luxury department stores, she says, still have a magic, but she shops there only for underwear and makeup. If I'm looking for anything else, I'll go to a boutique or look online for a more exclusive or unusual piece. In February, shareholder Elevation Capital urged Kirkcaldies' chairman Falcon Clouston to consider splitting the retail and property businesses.
The total value of Kirkcaldies shares has historically been less than the value of the Harbour City Centre it owns, making selling off the property arm an attractive prospect for shareholders. Cushing's son David and Brierley himself both say they are "open-minded" about the company's future and insist that they have no plans to push for a company split at the February annual general meeting. Brierley concedes "the profitability of the store is a problem". However, he calls Kirkcaldies "a Wellington icon" and "a very nice little store, particularly by New Zealand standards", and believes it would be "regrettable" if it disappeared.
Loved the makeup 😍 - Review of Kirkcaldie & Stains, Wellington, New Zealand - TripAdvisor
Cushing says Kirkcaldies comprises two "really good businesses, but totally different businesses'. Although he says he is open-minded, he expects the directors to "maximise value for all shareholders", and is contemplating attending the annual meeting. He also insists there is still a place for Kirkcaldies' "brilliant" store. I think department stores are tremendous, with really good merchandise and really attentive staff. It's been there for years. It must have some future. It is 85 per cent through earthquake strengthening the front building and is still freeing up the development site behind, which could accommodate a metre-high building.
So what happens if the property arm is sold? Otherwise, it won't stay in business. Dame Kate Harcourt says yes.
While it no longer has the influence it did in the 60s, when she organised fashion shows that would dictate the colours and styles of the season, it remains a Wellington institution. There was a play I've just been in with a line it, 'It's like Kirks' sale', and the audience just went up. I think they have to move with the times. There is a large variety of items and this is the place to buy special gifts such as wedding presents.
The gap between the rich and the poor, even in little ol' NZ, is easy to see when buying here The range of goods from far away places certainly gives for a great range to choose from and no doubt practiced hands create the wonderful displays. One review suggested this place was snobby I appreciate it is aiming to offer an upmarket shopping experience, but as a solo male shopper I was never very comfortable going in there.
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It feels like the staff make a judgement on you based on how you look and what you're wearing. Sad to see such snobbish attitudes in !
They often watch or follow you around closely when you're browsing, as if they think you might steal something. Their whole approach and manner towards customers really needs to change! Also there's a disappointing range of items, the quality of some stuff actually isn't that great and it is very expensive for what it is. Even for senior " kids " this is a magical experience. We loved the beautiful trees and the intricate decorations; something for every price range.
The rest of the store was full of beautiful goods and the cafe was doing a brisk trade. While we have never eaten there or bought from any of the other departments, it is a store which is well worth a visit just to step back in time in order to see what department stores used to be like, even though it has moved with the times in other respects. The Christmas Shop is amazing - Brilliant range of prices for shoppers of all ages. The selection was fantastic - the staff where very helpful. Flights Vacation Rentals Restaurants Things to do.
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