Staff of SSAB with Samoa’s Consul General in Auckland Fa’aolotoi Reupena Pogi and some of the Samoan products to be on sale at the new outlet
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2016: In the middle of this year, Auckland’s Samoan community got a new cultural landmark in the form of Samoa House comprising of a Samoan traditional meeting house and new 3 storey building for the Samoan Consulate General.
Now one of the motherland’s shopping chains, SSAB (Samoa Stationery & Books Ltd) is completing the picture by opening its doors at Samoa House.
SSAB’s branches in Samoa (Upolu and Savaii) and American Samoa are well known for stationery, books, electronics, whiteware and furniture.
But according to owner Fiti Leung Wai, SSAB’s branch in New Zealand will be a little different, “We’re calling SSAB’s Auckland branch ‘Sei Oriana Gift Shop’ since we’ll be selling a wide range of jewellery, clothes, shoes, handicrafts and Samoan books.”
Mrs Leung Wai added that, “Included in such range are high-end Samoan fashion brands like Mena and Janet’s, which already has a huge following in New Zealand.”
But her other excitement in establishing Sei Oriana is the ability to help her people back home. Mrs Leung Wai said, “Sei Oriana will also give the opportunity to small scale Samoan carvers, weavers, seamstresses, Elei printers and artisans to export their products to a much bigger market. Many small entrepreneurs back in Samoa cannot afford to risk exporting their products on their own, but as a large reseller, SSAB is able to help by shouldering the risk.”
SSAB exported a container of Samoan made products to New Zealand to stock Sei Oriana. According to Mrs Leung Wai, “Sei Oriana will support our community back home. Hopefully Samoans in Auckland will show them some love by shopping here this Christmas and beyond.”
SSAB first opened its doors in Samoa in August 2008 and is the fastest growing business in Samoa. Its New Zealand shop will be its 6th branch.
Whilst the focus of Sei Oriana is on Samoan-made products, it will not completely stray from SSAB’s roots.
SSAB currently has an online shop where overseas customers can pay for electronics, whiteware and furniture for their families back home to collect. Sei Oriana will make this even easier with its “Family Corner” where customers can inspect display whiteware, furniture and beds and pay in-store whilst their family in Samoa can pick them up.
Sei Oriana Gift Shop (SSAB Auckland) opens to the New Zealand public on Friday, 18th November 2016.