7 March 2024
The Weekly
New Zealand
Diversification and Reinvention of BallantynesDiversification and Reinvention of BallantynesDiversification and Reinvention of Ballantynes

Speaking at the launch of a new Ballantynes Select store in Invercargill, CEO Maria O’Halloran, explained that the smaller store is an answer to Southlanders’ call for a local presence. Ballantynes is also growing its footprint through the expansion of British clothing retailer Seasalt, which Ballantynes recently brought to New Zealand after selling it in-store for seven years. The first Seasalt store opened in Milford on Auckland’s North Shore in September, and another is set to open in Auckland later this year.



Ballantynes operates the stores on behalf of Seasalt, managing everything from staffing and leases to the purchase and resell of stock. Maria believes retail diversification is the only way retailers, particularly those in the declining department store sector, can survive, and it is likely Ballantynes will follow a similar model with other new-to-market international retailers. Regarding the department store business, Maria said ‘Reinvent yourself. Remain current and relevant to the customer today, but never lose sight of your traditional values that a department store has that underpins it all. That is the secret formula.’ ‘Retail theatre’ is also paramount, with Ballantynes hosting in-store events to draw in shoppers and increase footfall. It also has its own Fashion Week with a show in-store drawing in 400 shoppers to see the new season’s trends.