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20 years of Superette: A chat with Rickie Dee

Iconic for its array of designer garments, accessories and homeware, premium retailer Superette will be celebrating 20 years in business next year. Here, we chat with Founder Rickie Dee on what it takes to build a successful business, how to keep the brand fresh and why customers love Superette. 

How does it feel to be celebrating 20 years in business (next year)? 

Beyond excited and super proud of where we are in the business today. Starting out at an early age was really beneficial for us. We were so young – there was just no stopping us. There were never any thoughts of ‘what if this doesn’t work’ – that just wasn’t an option. We were so determined to make it work and twenty years on I still love coming to work each day.​​

What challenges have you had over the past two decades with owning Superette?

There’s always challenges with owning a business and you definitely learn as you go. That was definitely the case starting the business at 21 years of age – we were very much self taught. In the beginning it was about coming up with the capital to start the business and then finding those brands that were willing to stock us at such an early stage. More recently, the pandemic has also obviously been a challenge – for everyone! There’s certainly no rulebook for Covid and this has been the longest lockdown period which is never easy. Our team has been amazing and we really couldn’t have done it without them. Each department has really stepped up in the ways that they need to – whether that’s working on our level 3 takeaway concept or finding new ways to delight the customer such as evening deliveries. Everyone is working really hard behind the scenes.

How do you keep the Superette brand fresh and unique to its competitors?

I think you have to constantly be working on your brand to keep it fresh and exciting – you can’t sit still in this day and age. Customers expect to have something fresh and new the whole time and that’s what we really thrive on, always having that next exciting project to talk about. We’re still very much true to what we were doing 20 years ago, but it’s about shaping our offering and brand so that it moves with the times. We’re also really passionate about building brands – our supplier relationships are really important to us and we like to work closely with each one to offer a unique, curated mix of product.

How did the partnership with Casetify come about? Why launch this collab for Christmas?

Casetify in my opinion is at the top of its game in the phone case world. The product they make is incredible. We have stocked Casetify in our store for many years so the partnership was very natural. We wanted to provide our customers with a unique design that was outside of their core range and that was in line with our Christmas campaign. Superette product collaboration is something we do every year over the Christmas period. We tend to partner with 10-15 of our suppliers to offer our customers something that is exclusive and limited. We have so many exciting collabs launching over the coming weeks throughout this Christmas period.

Why do you think customers love the Superette brand?

We wanted to bring something to the marketplace that was unique and not like any other clothing store. We’ve always tried to create a lifestyle and a journey that our customers feel a part of. I think having been a Kiwi business in New Zealand for 20 years, we have a good understanding of our customers, what they love and can therefore curate that ‘next best thing’ for them.

What are your future plans for the business?

It’s always a tricky question. We’re in the middle of a lockdown and in a changing retail environment. But we always like to keep things fresh and to be working on the next project. There’s a few things we’re working on at the moment – expanding a few locations and store enhancements that will be rolled out at the start of 2022. Our International store is our newest store and concept, and after its success is one we’ll be looking to develop further. There’s always lots on the go, we don’t sit still for too long!

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