Content created in partnership with Mānawa Bay
Globally, the way we shop is ever-evolving – but no matter if you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans or the kids are sizing up their favourite sneakers (again), some constants remain.
The experience itself is important, including well-designed store fitouts, sleek facilities, and great food options nearby. And we all like to feel as though we’re getting the best price for our brand-new purchase.
Opening its doors in the second half of 2024, Mānawa Bay, a premium outlet shopping centre, promises to offer all the above and much more. It’ll include over 100 stores spanning fashion, activewear and homeware, featuring iconic international designers as well as local brands.
100+ stores coming to Mānawa Bay, get a sneak preview of the brands announced, with more to come in 2024
Developed and owned by Auckland Airport, the purpose-built shopping centre will be located five minutes from Auckland Airport, nestled on the water’s edge of Manukau Harbour.
“This is outlet shopping that you would see overseas being brought to New Zealand,” says Auckland Airport’s head of retail Lucy Thomas.
You’ll be able to shop iconic international brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Coach and Fila at prices they’ve never been available to us at before. There are many more brands to be announced – and three labels have their first-ever outlet stores in New Zealand: American fashion label Kate Spade, jewellery company Swarovski, and Norwegian outdoor clothing brand Helly Hansen.
Mānawa Bay will bring over 100 stores to a new outlet shopping centre in 2024. In development now.
Via feedback from consumer research, Thomas says people who are familiar with the type of outlet centres you find in Australia and elsewhere overseas are excited by the prospect of having our own in Aotearoa.
“In developing the concept, we did a lot of soul searching around what ‘good’ looks like overseas – but what’s really important is understanding what that means for New Zealanders,” says Thomas.
One of the team’s core considerations was making sure Mānawa Bay has broad appeal. “We quickly realised we are for everyone.” Whether you’re based in Auckland or travelling from elsewhere in the country, and no matter if you’re a shopping lover or you’re just there to stock up on essentials, the centre will cater to you. And there’s plenty of room, with around 1400 free car parks for customers while shopping.
In no universe is Mānawa Bay set to be a lacklustre version of an overseas concept. The light-filled complex is being built with sustainability at its heart over 35,000 square metres, with indoor-outdoor flow, plenty of space to relax and excellent dining options.
“Kiwis love outlet shopping, and we’d love for it to be a really pleasant experience – so that’s something we’ve designed in from the beginning,” says Thomas. “This isn’t some deep and dark basement, it’s a positive and easy-to-navigate experience with lovely amenities – our bathrooms are designed with a hotel resort style vibe”
Dining-wise, Mānawa Bay will offer variety and quality. “Food and beverage, especially for Kiwis and their shopping experience, is really important. That’s not something other outlet centres often do overseas, so we’re bringing that as core to the area,” says Thomas. There’ll be something for all budgets and many cuisines, from grab-and-go options to dine-in cafes and fresh Japanese food – and even “bubbles if there’s something to celebrate with friends”.
In te reo Māori, the word Mānawa can mean “mangroves”. The centre’s unique connection to the landscape is a key part of the concept, as is consultation with tangata whenua and other stakeholders. “We’re doing a lot to take care of the area where we are and look after the space,” says Thomas.
They’re targeting a 5 Green Star sustainability rating throughout the build, and once it’s completed it’ll have what’s expected to be the largest rooftop solar panel system in New Zealand that’ll support over 80% of the centre’s power use. This conscious approach extends to rainwater collection, waste management and small details like food and beverage packaging requirements.
When it opens, Mānawa Bay will be the type of place you could gladly spend hours in. “Lots of people we spoke to said if we get this right they’ll want to come with their friends and family and make a day of it,” says Thomas. “From our point of view, that’s success.”