"Just over a month after its launch online, Heritage New Zealand’s shop.heritage.org.nz has proven to be a hit with online shoppers, providing consumers with products that are unusual, quirky, rare – in fact any adjective you might care to use."
The Media Release is as follows:
Online shop a hit
Just over a month after its launch online, Heritage New Zealand’s shop.heritage.org.nz has proven to be a hit with online shoppers, providing consumers with products that are unusual, quirky, rare – in fact any adjective you might care to use.
“For many people, Shop Heritage is becoming the go-to place for things that are a little bit out there, but also a bit special,” says Heritage New Zealand’s Liz Bigwood, who manages the online enterprise.
“Our customers are loving the eclectic blend of funky Kiwiana and heritage merchandise not commonly available elsewhere. We aim to strike the right note of nostalgia and retro cool, and that recipe seems to be resonating with people.”
Based out of Kerikeri’s Stone Store – the country’s oldest retail establishment– Shop Heritage is showing that the same values of enterprise and trade that saw the historic stone building constructed almost 180 years ago, can just as easily be adapted and re-packaged for today’s market using modern technology.
“We’re conscious that we’re following in the footsteps of New Zealand’s earliest traders who operated from the same place we’re based in now. We’re proud to be part of that merchandising heritage, and equally proud to be a Northland enterprise,” says Liz.
“Our shoppers can also enjoy the fact that every purchase made through our Shop Heritage website is used to help support some of the upkeep and maintenance of many historic places cared for by Heritage New Zealand around the country – including the Stone Store.”
Although the trade game is very different from how things were when the Stone Store first opened its distinctive, still-functioning double doors in 1836, at least one basic commercial principle still applies – give the customers what they want at the right price.
“We’re constantly researching products and testing the market to see how they might fly, and we really value the feedback our customers give us,” she says.
“We’re committed to keeping the Shop Heritage online shopping experience as fresh and new as possible.”
The online shop’s product range is sure to light customers’ candles – or even hurricane lamps for that matter – and some products have already revealed themselves to be early ‘bolters’.
“Our iconic Kiwi tea towels, which use the Edmonds ‘Sure To Rise’ and Kiwi Bacon artwork, have proven to be top favourites,” says Liz.
“We’ve also had great interest in our wide range of books like The History of the Garden in 50 Tools which reflects the fact that we have the oldest continuously cultivated garden in New Zealand at the Kerikeri Mission Station. This particular book is proving to be a real winner with gardening enthusiasts, and Powell’s Native Animals of New Zealand – once seen on every school bookshelf in New Zealand – is also selling well.”
Whare-shaped birdboxes have flown out the door, and at the other end of the scale, zombie finger puppets are steadily finding their audience.
Other items going into shoppers’ online carts include genuine paper dress-up dolls in the glamourous style of the 1950s, complete with fashion accessories of that era – the perfect childhood memento, and still loved by kids today.
“We plan to introduce a range of new and exciting products over the next few months, so people should keep visiting the online store to make sure they’re aware of the amazing items available,” says Liz.
“It’s still early days for us at Shop Heritage but we’ve been really encouraged by the positive response. We’ve found our niche in cyber-space, and we’re here to stay. People ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Support heritage – shop.heritage.org.nz
Gems from Aladdin’s Cave
Part of the joy of visiting Shop Heritage is reading some of the product descriptors. Here are some samples to savour:
Gents Multi-tool: For the practical Gent a multi-tool for every occasion. Save time, space and probably lives! Multi-tool has 15 brushed stainless steel tools presented in an attractive gift box. Job done!
Knuckle Bones: One of the oldest games in the world, and it's still going strong. The Greeks played knucklebones during the siege of Troy, which went on for ten years! They weren't called 'Knucklebone Masters of the Mediterranean' for nothing…
Hot and Cold Cufflinks: These are great cufflinks for the man who has everything, including a sense of humour. Of course if he is a plumber, then they're absolutely perfect.
Visit shop.heritage.org.nz to read them all…