A new world of luxury shopping has arrived in the centre of Queenstown with the opening of T Galleria by DFS in a spacious ,contemporary, design-led complex in the heart of the resort.
The world’s leading travel retailer has created a ‘destination within a destination,’ bringing an air of excitement for Queenstown residents and visitors.
Anchored by distinctive brands not available anywhere else in the South Island, T Galleria has a relaxed yet refined ambience, quite unique to the region.
The first of the retailer’s Resort Galleria concept stores, it spans an impressive 1800square metres of the newly renovated O’Connells Pavilion shopping complex.
The centre has been a shopping and leisure destination in downtown Queenstown since the 1980s and in the past two years has been transformed inside and out to create world-class shopping and dining experiences.
Acclaimed architect Preston Stevens has wrapped the building in eye-catching copper cladding that mirrors the surrounding mountains and takes on differing hues throughout the day.
Casually sophisticated and inviting T Galleria by DFS brings glamour and style to its location with its carefully curated showcase of renowned international brands and the finest local products.
General manager Mario Gabriel says the resort galleria concept is tailored to Queenstown’s special market – a combination of international and domestic travellers as well as a growing local community.
The galleria operates as a normal department store with dual pricing allowing international travellers to purchase duty free.
“We love to see the world through the eyes of the many travellers who come to Queenstown in all seasons to enjoy our mountains, lakes, dramatic alpine scenery, spectacular food and wine and year-round activities,” says Mario.
“A premium venue such as this is the icing on the cake for many of those visitors who appreciate and welcome our excellent service and delightful, distinctive experience. We have been warmly welcomed by our local population, something we’re very grateful for as we’re offering a range of community-driven initiatives instore year-round.”
The store is already recognised for its support of local artists, celebrating the work of contemporary jeweller and artist Jessica Winchcombe during its opening weekend. Her artwork created live on the premises was auctioned to raise money for the environmental advocacy group Sustainable Queenstown.
The company has also collaborated with NZ design company Oi You on mural and ceiling artworks which enhance its light and airy spaces, made from natural and sustainable locally sourced materials. A stylish lounge area is a community hub hosting local groups and workshops, also doubling as a quiet space and gallery viewing area for visitors.
The store’s packed calendar of events includes local ballet, dance and musical performances, sustainability and beauty workshops, makeovers and giveaways. Since opening it has hosted a Queenstown Chamber of Commerce event for local business owners and actively supports a local art gallery showcase initiative.
“Watch this space for more,” says Mario.
All about the people
DFS’s hallmark is its contribution to the long-term business sustainability of Queenstown with the creation of around 40 jobs and providing dedicated career pathways to its employees.
The staff are a veritable United Nations line-up from Romanian-born general manager Mario Gabriel to operations manager Agathe Audrain, originally from France. Others hail from the UK, Australia, China, the Philippines, India and all over New Zealand.
Born in Bucharest Mario entered the hospitality industry at the age of 19 and following roles in Europe and the US he became GM at Queenstown’s Kamana Lakehouse before bringing his luxury service sector skills to the DFS T Galleria role.
Agathe has a lifetime of experience in events, travel and accommodation in France, Australia and New Zealand.
Marketing manager UK born Vicky Cooper visited New Zealand on a three-month trip and never looked back while visual merchandising specialist Jo Quiozon is loving the challenge her new role brings. Talent support specialist Daniel Rosario has worked with DFS for three years and is relishing the opportunity to move to Queenstown to help launch the new venture.