Introducing the new Barkers concept store, paying homage to our settlement heritage. Barkers’ new Dunedin Trading Post reflects the city’s past as an awesomely rugged outpost of early European settlement.
The first big boatload of Scottish migrants arrived in New Zealand on a sunny autumn day in 1848. Perhaps because they’d come from Scotland, they found Otago’s weather “sultry”, and “quite of the Italian character”. Hah! Shipped in by the New Zealand Company, these hardworking Presbyterians got busy whaling, sheep farming and gold mining. By 1880, they’d turned Dunedin into New Zealand’s biggest, richest town.
If you’ve watched Deadwood or Frontier, you might have a mental picture of what they looked like: there would have been a lot of pipes being smoked, some pretty estimable moustaches, and a solid trade in all of the cool old tools required for their labours. That heritage of hard yakka is reflected in the Trading Post, the new Barkers concept store opened this month in Dunedin.
Every Barkers concept store aims to say something about the community it serves, and Glenn Cracknell, GM of Barkers’ retail operations, says for Dunedin, “the fact that those early pioneers would have required all manner of equipment and wares to set themselves up” sparked this design. “We try to keep our concepts based in the past to create a truly authentic experience.”
Housed in the heritage Penrose Building on George St and created in collaboration with architect Adrian Nancekivell from property studio Tailor Inc, the store uses solid macrocarpa and is kitted out with beautiful old objects that help tell the story, like a huge Canadian canoe, handmade over the course of a decade and slung high in the rafters, and hand-forged axes made by Tuatahi, a Masterton company that makes some of the world’s best racing axes.
As well as the full range of menswear, accessories and grooming range, and a Groom Room offering barber cuts and hot shaves, the Trading Post’s customers can also provision themselves with iconic blue-trimmed Falcon enamelware, Leatherman multi-tools, a Stanley thermos like your grandfather had, flashlights, and range of leather dog collars and leads.