Like all great ideas, Amazon began meekly enough with a tiny 95m2 store in the busting St Lukes mall in Auckland in 1990. Owner Steve Alach had a vision to create a style of store that brought all the passion of surfing and skate to the city – with energy, colour and variety. Before long he was expanding. His second Amazon store was in Riccarton, Christchurch (still one of the group’s best outlets), followed by Broadway and Queen St in Auckland.
A big step for Steve and the chain was the opening of his groundbreaking Botany store – more than double the size of his previous Amazons (400m2) and with a great new format that got the business pumping. Several stores later, in 2001, Steve was joined by fashion entrepreneur David Wright and between them they took the group to an amazing 20 stores with outlets throughout the country.
Amazon recently merged with surfwear giant Billabong to take the concept even further and in November 2007 opened their most ambitious project yet, their 600m2 Amazon Superstore in Albany, Auckland.
It has been a wild ride, but for Amazon, the journey isn’t over yet.