Ahu Boutique increases sales during COVID-19 Lockdown

By Kereama Wright

Retailers have taken a hard financial hit during lock-down, but tomorrow will bring some relief as the restrictions will be relaxed under Alert Level 3.

But one Māori fashion designer in Rotorua describes how she was able to increase sales during Level 4. 

The doors are partially open as Ahu Boutique owner, Adrienne Whitewood prepares for Alert Level 3 tomorrow. The move is a much-needed reprieve for some business owners. 

"A couple of days before look down when I knew everything was closing, I quickly ordered as much fabric as I could get in. I saw on websites trying to get as much stock as I could get screen-printed," explains Adrienne.

Due to her swift thinking early on, Ahu Boutique launched two new collections via their Facebook platform.

"I knew that if we didn't launch a collection or if we didn't try to capture our audience and engage with them I just knew things weren't gonna be ticking over for us. 

"We dropped our first line and then after the first day we had to restock," says Adrienne.

Her sales actually increased over the lockdown period, due to many customers buying from home in isolation.

"We made sure to release a few collections as well over lockdown. I knew a lot of people would be at home sitting on their phones, it was the perfect opportunity and I'd say, we did pretty okay."

From tomorrow, Ahu will also be collecting donations for the Women's Refuge in the Waiariki region.