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Country Road Newmarket

An innovative store fitout at Country Road Newmarket has earned a 5 Green Star interiors rating.

Environmentally positive, ergonomic and elegant – it’s an enhancing experience for staff and shoppers.

Name:  Country Road Newmarket 
What: Country Road’s flagship store in Aotearoa; 800 square metres; sells women’s, men’s and children’s apparel and homewares
Where: Level 2, Westfield Newmarket 
Overview: Country Road has 15 stores in Aotearoa; Country Road Newmarket is its largest and its first Green Star rated store in New Zealand
Big picture: Country Road has 80+ stores globally 
Address: 227 Broadway, Newmarket, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Project Snapshot

Building owner: Westfield Newmarket – Scentre Group 
Architect: Country Road 
Project GSAP: Country Road store design and development manager, Alicia Buffinton 
Main contractor: Datum Projects Ltd
Service engineer: Scentre Group
Project status: design, construction and occupation - January 2019 to November 2019
Project certification: 5 Green Star Interiors NZv.0 (October 2023)

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Country Road stores around the globe reference the earthy colour palette and forms of the natural environment but this imagery is no veneer.

Protecting the planet, sustainability across products, partnerships and pushing for a greener retail experience underpin the company’s strategic pathway.

“Five years ago we were the first Australian fashion retailer to open a 5 Green Star design rated store, we’ve since opened 20 stores targeting Green Star ratings, two of which have just been awarded 6 Green Stars,” says Country Road store design and development manager, Alicia Buffinton.

“As an iconic Australian retailer we feel it’s our role to push boundaries and drive positive change across our industry.” 

Driving that positive change in Aotearoa came with the opening of Country Road Newmarket – presenting an opportunity for the brand to extend its Green Star programme across the Tasman. 

Country Road says it hopes the 5 Green Star rated fitout for its Newmarket premises “symbolises a new era of store design in New Zealand.”

Alicia Buffinton says Green Star is an internationally recognised sustainability rating system, representing an industry-leading standard to which Country Road aspires.

“Green Star inspires and challenges us to think creatively about our approach. It encourages us to consider what elements of existing fitouts we can reuse, how we can reduce wa
ste as well as incorporate new innovative materials.”

That creative approach is centre stage at Country Road Newmarket where Green Star strongly influenced material selections.

Plastics made from recycled yoghurt pots, wall cladding from recycled paper, carpet from recycled yarn and curtains made from recycled polyester are all part of the mix.

Longevity and robustness of materials and finishes – reducing the need for maintenance but offering tactility, texture and beauty – has been vital.

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Country Road store design manager, Anne Meaghar-Whiting says customer and staff comfort has been a key design consideration – translating into:

  • ease of access through the store
  • larger fitting rooms
  • lounge spaces for customers of all levels of ability to relax in both
  • retail areas and fitting rooms
  • locally adjustable lighting levels for visual comfort in high use areas including counters and fitting rooms
  • ergonomically designed joinery for better comfort

 She says telling a sustainability story alongside a product story was central to the project.

“We hoped to embrace our customers by taking them on the journey with us ensuring they feel cared for, comfortable and inspired. Throughout the retail areas signage identifies environmental attributes of the relevant materials to inform, educate and excite our customers.”

Main contractor Datum Projects says the Newmarket fitout is a tangible example of environmentally-friendly practice – inspiring waste reduction, sustainable practices and encouraging the construction team “to adopt similar behaviours both at work and in their personal lives.” 

Datum Projects project manager, Michelle Parkinson says showing a commitment to sustainabilty with a Green Star rated fitout:

  • enhances the reputation of the business
  • differentiates it from other industry players
  • contributes to a healthier, more efficient, environmentally responsible workplace
  • delivers postive impacts around the wellbeing of occupants, the planet and the bottom line

She says sustainable fitout techniques lead to long-term cost savings through reduced energy consumption, lower maintenance requirements and durability of materials.

Alicia Buffinton says the Australian brand hopes its Green Star fitout at the Newmarket store will inspire the local retail industry.

The 5 Green Star in-store experience is already inspiring its staff.

Newmarket HD team member, Maddy Gilbert says:

 “Working for a sustainable brand like Country Road makes me motivated to learn more about where products come from and expand my knowledge of sustainable materials and manufacturing processes. I also have a sense of pride knowing the company I work for is making conscious decisions.”

While assistant store manager, Joshua Weggery says he feels proud to work for a brand that is conscious and passionate about lowering its impacts.

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Green features include:

  • low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, and carpets
  • 95 percent + of all engineered wood products meets stipulated formaldehyde limits
  • responsibly sourced and certified timber building materials used
  • indoor plants are distributed across the nominated area
  • ergonomic strategy and information for continuous support
  • overall reduction in internal noise levels/reduction in noise levels from building services
  • lighting accurately addresses the perception of color in space; lighting control through switching and presence detectors
  • commitment to performance – targets/measurement of results to ensure environmental performance of fitout

Technical features include:

  • predicted GHG emissions significantly lower than a standard fitout
  • all monitors have an energy rating labelling of at least 6 stars
  • appliances and equipment are within one star of the highest energy rating of the comparable equipment class