Creating authentic and inspiring spaces with Kathmandu

Creating authentic and inspiring spaces with Kathmandu

For Kathmandu, entrusting someone to create two new stores at once is a big deal. When it came time to develop their Christchurch and Newmarket concept stores, they needed shopfitters who would become an extension of their own team and work hard to capture the authentic nature of the Kathmandu brand. Having already worked on multiple Kathmandu stores, Datum Projects were the natural choice.

Getting the concept right

Developing the two new stores began over 18 months ago, and involved the enlistment of international architects and suppliers. Datum got involved when a mock store was put together in Melbourne to test out some ideas.

“A Datum team flew over to Australia and worked with our Australian shopfitters,” recalls Abigail Wasmer, Store Design and Development Manager for Kathmandu. “They helped us troubleshoot a lot of issues and really understood the attention to detail and quality of workmanship we were looking for.”

The new concept stores needed to be an authentic environment that any customer could feel at home in, and the spaces had to be bright, approachable, and welcoming. Most importantly, Kathmandu wanted to make people feel inspired for their next outdoor adventure. 

Two birds, one team

Constructing the two stores at once wasn’t an easy job – there were a few timeline changes and development challenges with landlords along the way. Being new concept stores, both projects were a learning curve that involved plenty of troubleshooting and close management. 

“The Datum team always kept up great communication with us and had plenty of troubleshooting skills to deal with the challenges,” shares Abigail. “They dealt with everything so professionally and were super easy to work with.” 

Datum’s quick thinking and commitment to getting the jobs done meant that both projects were completed on time. The finished stores are exciting spaces that draw new customers inside and ensure that everyone can get the equipment they need for their next great outdoors adventure. 

“Both the new stores are trading well and we’re absolutely thrilled with the end result,” says Abigail. “The stores really take a new direction which everyone is excited about.”

Bringing passion to projects

“Trusting someone to manage two new stores at the same time was a big step for us,” describes Abigail. “Datum understood us as a business, and had the skills and attention to detail to manage the complex construction of the stores. They became an extension of our own team and always worked seamlessly.

“They’re a great sized business – not so big that they can’t offer personable service, but not so small that they don’t have the resources to get the job done.”

For Datum, it was a pleasure to work alongside Kathmandu to create new and innovative spaces. The stores are a true celebration of the great outdoors, which is something we could easily get behind, and it was particularly special to bring Kathmandu back to their hometown, Christchurch, for the first time since the earthquakes. 

“You could tell the Datum team was passionate about what we were trying to achieve, and it’s reflected in the results of the stores.”

Since the stores opened, Kathmandu and the Datum team took home three awards at the RED Awards – Fashion & Accessories Group Winner and Shopfront Excellence Award for Kathmandu Newmarket and the Sustainability Award for Kathmandu Christchurch. These awards recognise the high quality and passion that went into these projects – and we’re proud to have been involved.