All of the company’s 106 stores will be renovated, plus another 20 or so new stores will open. Paper Plus is the only nationwide 100% New Zealand owned and operated book and stationery retailer in the country, and it will use NZ contractors for the refurbishment.
Since August this year, on average two stores each week have been refitted and re-opened at locations including Manukau City, Howick, Thames, Taupo, Wellington, Nelson and Oamaru.
Other developments include having in-store book champions to assist customers, the expansion of the Kids’ Club, an upgraded website and better merchandising. A new TVC was launched this week to reinforce the company’s one-stop shop for books and stationery.
More than 650,000 customers visit Paper Plus each week contributing to the group’s combined annual turnover approaching $200 million. The company started 26 years ago, and has continued to record positive growth over last year, despite a slight decline in New Zealand book and stationery sales.
In 2007 Kerre Woodham joined Paper Plus as books spokesperson and this profile has contributed to its 16 per cent increase in category growth year to date.
The new Paper Plus stores follow the ‘Concept 6’ design. The first test stores with this concept were Sylvia Park, which opened in June 2007, and Masterton in December 2008.
Paper Plus CEO Rob Smith says, “We believe this investment will let customers know that when they visit a Paper Plus Concept 6 store they’re going to find a refined, specialised and comprehensive focus on books and stationery, from a New Zealand company serious about supporting the local economy.
“Currently Paper Plus is the number one retailer of greeting cards in New Zealand, selling around three million each year. Our ambition is to replicate that position in both the books and stationery categories and move to a market leadership position over time.”