MEDIA RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 26/07/16
The iconic Todds of Ashburton fashion store has dominated the northern landscape of Ashburton’s main street for ninety-six years. After three generations of family ownership the Todds are now set to hand the reigns of their business over.
Tony and Christine Todd have sold their business to the Preen family of Timaru. The Preens also have a long history in the fashion business with multiple stores in South Canterbury.
The sale will be completed February 24th 2017 and includes their second store TCR – The Clothes Rack also on East Street.
The stores will trade under the same names and continue to offer quality fashion for men and women. The intention remains to offer fashion shoes and accessories also.
The lingerie department is the only one planned to be phased out by end of February 2017 as it is not compatible with the new owner’s business model.
All staff will continue to be employed and will be offered new contracts by the new owners. Current owners Tony and Christine Todd will stay on for a period of time in a management role to assist with a smooth transition. Mr. Todd says, “From a customer’s perspective you will notice little change”.
Both the Todd’s and the Preen’s have owned fashion businesses over three generations. The Preen family have stores in Timaru and Oamaru as well as their own fashion label.
“It is a good fit for them to add Ashburton to their trading arm,” says Tony Todd.
“We have had a strong working relationship with the Preen family over many years which extends to a personal level”.
There is historical evidence of this. Second generation owner Tony Preen has a reference written by A.H. Todd which describes Tony Preen’s Grandfather working for him.
Todds Drapery was incorporated in 1920 after Mr. A.H. Todd bought out Barretts Limited. A.H. Todd had worked for Barretts since 1914. This store was situated where the BNZ is now (next door to the current Todds of Ashburton). Three of A.H. Todd’s sons worked for the company, Arch, Ray and Les. In 1938 the present store was opened and over time has transformed from a general drapery store to a fashion store specialising in the ‘medium to higher end’ of the market.
Tony joined the company as a sixteen year old junior. Tony and wife Christine took over management of the business when Tony’s father, Les, retired.