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Barkers brings together different retail concepts with Ponsonby 'guide shop'

Kiwi menswear retailer Barkers has taken a cue from overseas retailers like Bonobos and opened a physical ‘guide shop’ location where shoppers can experience their products before ordering online. The outlet, Good Company, also offers food and beverage opportunities, plus grooming.

Good Company houses three Barkers retail concepts: the Barkers Guide Shop, a Barkers Groom Room similar to that launched on High St in 2015, and Archie Café. It opened to the public on September 30.

The store is a long-term vision of Barkers general manager Glenn Cracknell. It’s located in Auckland at 159 Ponsonby Rd, which formerly housed designer secondhand clothing store Tatty’s. Tatty’s remains in operation and has moved one door down.

The building, a century-old Ponsonby villa, was restored by Tailor design director Adrian Nancekivell.

The Barkers Guide Shop is the first offering of its kind from Barkers. It lets customers browse a curated Barkers range, with help from in-store stylists. They can then order and pay in-store, and have their product delivered to their home the next working day.

Barkers says this service allows customers to take advantage of everything Ponsonby has to offer without “literal extra baggage”. Shoppers can also choose to take home their purchase in the traditional way.

“The way we shop is changing,” says Cracknell. “With the popularity of online shopping’s convenience, and to fulfil the need of more digital experiences in a bricks-and-mortar environment, Barkers’ have established the Barkers’ Guide Shop, a retail offering where customers can enjoy the processes of in-store shopping alongside the ease and experience of online retail.”

Groom Room general manager Vea Fonua says a visit to the four-chair on-site barber shop has become a significant part of the male shopping experience, and the café, Archie, was founded by the team behind popular bar Mr Toms.

This story originally appeared on The Register