This fashion giant just opened its first store in NZ
It looked like a Black Friday sale in a small section of Auckland’s Sylvia Park shopping centre earlier this week — but it wasn’t a hefty markdown that had shoppers in a frenzy.
Doors to the country’s first Zara store opened at 9:30am to the sound of claps and cheers. The 300 or so customers then rushed through the outlet, tearing clothes off of rails and shelves within a matter of seconds. The popular Spanish retailer offers men’s, women’s and children’s apparel
At five times the size of the average Sylvia Park shop, there was ample reason to be excited. More than 90 people have been employed to staff the sizeable shop.
The Zara opening comes hot on the heels of H&M’s debut on New Zealand’s shores. Shoppers were queuing outside the retail giant’s Sylvia Park location from 5pm on Friday, 30 September in anticipation of the Saturday opening. There were 500 people gathered near the store an hour before it opened, with dancers and DJs keeping the crowd amused.
Chris Gudgeon, the CEO of Kiwi Property, which owns the Sylvia Park shopping centre, told Newshub that the arrival of both Zara and H&M was a long time coming.
"We've been talking for them for about three to three-and-a-half years. Of course they have rolled out in Australia and the moment they came to Australia we were on the phone.
"We've invested over $20 million bringing Zara and H&M to Sylvia Park so we are very happy to make that investment."
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DBS Bank expands digital trade finance on Contour platform
DBS Bank has boosted its digitalisation extending its offerings on trade finance network Contour to corporate customers in four key Asia-Pacific markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Singapore-based DBS was the first bank to sign up to Contour’s beta network and completed the first fully digital Letter of Credit (LC) transaction on Contour last year. The bank has moved to Contour’s production network to offer streamlined digital LC transactions for customers, to help digitise global trade.
Contour’s network focuses on digitising paper-based trade finance processes which can be expensive and time-consuming.
APAC is seen as a key region for digitisation of trade finance as banks and corporates seek to mitigate risk and enhance cost efficiency, including moving away from traditional paper-based LC processes.
Via Contour, which is also based in Singapore, DBS will be able to provide a fully digital end-to-end LC settlement process for customers in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, including the transfer of electronic trade and title documents – increasing efficiency in the process by up to 90%.
Digitised trade finance builds resilient ecosystem
“Our partnership with Contour aligns with DBS’ ongoing efforts to drive greater efficiencies in trade and unlock strategic value for our corporate customers,” said Sriram Muthukrishnan, Group Head of Trade Product Management, DBS Bank.
“We recognise that digitisation is a powerful enabler to simplify the highly complex nature of trade finance, especially for processes relating to letters of credit. Digitising trade processes is also an increasingly relevant and heightened priority for corporates to survive and thrive in the new normal and will form an integral component for resilient trade ecosystems of the future.”
Contour’s decentralised network increases security as it validates all identities and leverages technology partners to match trade documents to real-time data. Contour also offers a sustainable way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
“The addition of another major Asian bank to our production network highlights Contour’s growing presence in APAC as an industry standard for digitising trade finance documentation,” said Carl Wegner, CEO at Contour.
“DBS has been an important partner for Contour in our work to support Singapore’s position as a key trading hub and has already participated in a number of successful transactions on our network. We’re delighted to facilitate its transition to offering live services to customers in these four markets. This is another important step on our journey to becoming the new digital end-to-end infrastructure for global trade.”