Arrowtown fashion shops to close

Ikon, Arrowtown. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Ikon, Arrowtown. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The Wallace & Gibbs group will close two of its six retail stores in July.

The Arrowtown-based retail group is the founder of fashion and clothing stores The Woolpress, Wallace & Gibbs, IKON and GOALS in Arrowtown, as well as the high-profile luxury lifestyle stores Te Huia in Queenstown and Arrowtown.

After decades of retail expansion, the family-owned business built by Delvine Wallace and Bruce Gibbs will call time on their Buckingham St fashion stores Wallace & Gibbs and IKON in July.

"We’ve had a great run with these two businesses, and while it’s with mixed emotions we let them go, as a family and as a group, it feels like the right time," Mr Wallace said.

"We are very proud of what was achieved."

The decision to close the two independent stores came after 30 years of successful trading for Wallace & Gibbs and 18 years for IKON.

"Although the businesses remain profitable, the ongoing hangover from Covid-19 with supply chain and staff recruitment issues, increased business costs, significant changes to shoppers’ habits, and online shopping pressure is a sign.

"With both store leases up this July, we saw it as opportune to close that chapter and put renewed energy and vigour into our other tourism and fashion enterprises."

She said both stores have served a significant part of their Arrowtown family and community life, with daughters Caroline Walak, Sophie Gibbs, and Elizabeth Wallace-Gibbs growing up in the businesses.

The two Buckingham St stores will host rolling closing down sales from this Friday until the end of June.

The Wallace & Gibbs group, will continue to operate Te Huia in Queenstown and Arrowtown, as well as The Woolpress and GOALS in Arrowtown.

Caroline Walak, Sophie Gibbs and Elizabeth Wallace-Gibbs have paid homage to their parents for creating such a dynamic fashion enterprise from their Arrowtown base.

- Staff reporter