Discover New Zealand’s best-loved department store, since 1880

Smith & Caughey’s tell us how they’ve remained a favourite with shoppers for over 140 years.

As consumers, we are becoming spoiled for choice when it comes to stores both online and offline, with multi-category stores popping into our local malls and suburban strips, touching on a range of fashion, homeware, beauty, and more. The necessity of providing choice within a retail environment has continued to grow at a rapid rate; we all want to see more options, more sizes, more variety, more experience, and retailers are growing increasingly competitive within this climate. 

None, however, are quite like Smith & Caughey’s. Entering Smith & Caughey’s is like being transported into a different world- one where modern department store shopping is expertly blended with art, experience, and heritage. Despite the fact the brick-and-mortar stores are located in Auckland, the online offering emphasises this feeling, featuring quirky, cool, and classic brands for us as consumers to continue to love, or discover.

The company has clearly worked hard to present a true department store in this online space, with well over 100,000 products on offer. It’s easy to spend hours exploring the Smith & Caughey’s website, or indulging in the experiences offered virtually, including the ability to try-on beauty products for brands like Giorgio Armani (PSA: it’s really entertaining- think Snapchat filters, but with beauty products you’ve always wanted to try but never wanted to splurge on because the colour was “too risky”!).

Founded by Marianne Smith-Caughey upon her arrival in Auckland in 1880, Smith & Caughey’s is one of the only department stores in New Zealand that has remained family owned and operated since its humble beginnings as Smith’s Cheap Drapery Warehouse.

Marianne’s legacy is legendary, a true icon at a time where women in business were very few and far between. For over 140 years, Marianne’s philosophy of Quality, Value and Service has guided the company, remaining true to this day. Service has been an integral part of Smith & Caughey’s since the beginning, and is a staple of what you will experience in both the physical and digital space.

As quoted from one of their early mail order catalogues, ‘When a Firm can say “Our best asset is the memory of our customers,” it has established its business upon a rock.’ Delivering nationwide dates as far back as the early 1880s, where Marianne’s brother Andrew Clarke Caughey would saddle up his horse, and later a horse and cart, offering freight-free delivery with goods safely sewn in canvas to any part of the country he could travel, many of those orders going to Wellington. While unfortunately Smith & Caughey’s no longer deliver goods on horseback, orders are currently delivered with free shipping direct to your door, packaged perfectly to reiterate that feeling of superior service.

With the festive season once again upon us, superior service is what differentiates retailers, and is where Smith & Caughey’s stands out. Gifting is made so simple with their complimentary Virtual Personal Shopping experience, where an expert will help you curate a selection of gifts for one or for all on your gift list, wrapped up with a bow. 

Discover New Zealand’s best-loved department store online, at



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