Joel Kendall

Shop local: how Joel Kendall is working online to get people back to shopping locally

It’s no secret that the accessibility of offshore products through online shopping has taken its toll on local retailers. One Christchurch-based entrepreneur, Joel Kendall, has made it his mission to help local boutiques through the power of ecommerce. Founded in 2011, is now one of New Zealand’s largest online fashion stores.

Joel Kendall
Joel Kendall of

“The concept came about when my partner was looking at getting her Sumner-based boutique, Urban Surf, set up with an online store,” Joel says.
“They knew they needed to offer online shopping to grow their business but didn’t know where to start. Mode was born out of the realisation that there would be other local stores in the same situation. By bringing them together, we could offer something more exciting for customers to shop.
“There are so many international companies targeting New Zealand customers, it’s really hard for these small stores to compete. There were a lot of stores trying their own thing online but they weren’t really succeeding. So, bringing them together made them stronger,” says Joel, whose background in ecommerce and marketing gave them the boost they needed to gain ground online.
“We’re continually working to make Mode a destination to shop – with the added benefit of customers supporting their local boutiques.”
It seems to be working; already brings together 20 stores from around the country and a customer base in the tens of thousands, while handling all the details in between.