Moving up the clothing chain

CLASSIC Clothing, a New Zealand-based family business, is continuing its successful trans-Tasman expansion with the opening of a second store in WA.

The new store, in Forrest Chase, opened at the weekend, almost a year after part-owners Valarie and Zyg Poczwa launched the chain in Subiaco.

Opening just in time for the Christmas trading period, the Forrest Chase store is the 16th in a chain established by Ms Poczwa and her family during the past 20 years.

There are 13 Classic Clothing stores in New Zealand and one in Victoria.

Ms Poczwa said more stores were planned for WA following the success of the Rokeby Road store, and while no locations had yet been decided, they were likely to be in shopping centres.

“We manufacture all of our own garments, they are exclusive to us … and when you manufacture your own garments you have to have a lot of stores to sell them in,” she said of the chain’s rapid expansion.

“You have to be able to buy fabric in huge quantities at lower prices, manufacture it (into clothes) and put the product out into many stores. That is the way you remain price competitive and successful.”

Ms Poczwa expected a successful business to emerge at the Forrest Chase outlet, with a high amount of pedestrian traffic and near neighbours Myer and David Jones working in the store’s favour.

Ms Poczwa said the Perth market had been targeted because it held similarities to the chain’s home in New Zealand.

“Customers here want very similar stock to what my New Zealand customers want,” she said.

And while other retailers have been complaining of a slump in the sector, Ms Poczwa said she had not seen evidence of that at her stores.

“Business has been really good. I think some of the one off smaller boutiques have felt the pinch though, especially with a lot of manufacturers closing down,” she said.

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