Yet another retail disruption: Container Door connects shoppers to suppliers

  • News
  • October 7, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Yet another retail disruption: Container Door connects shoppers to suppliers

Founder Ben Nathan is the former owner of Barker's Menswear. Nathan's used his sourcing and buying experience of more than 25 years to create Container Door. 

He reckons the concept is a world first.

“We are turning the traditional sales model on its head with this new way to shop,” Nathan says.

“By grouping individual orders together, we can cut out the agents, distributors and retailers and with no big store rents we can offer goods at prices that New Zealand hasn’t ever seen.”

The model works as follows: items are listed on the Container Door website for purchase and once enough people buy it, the minimum quantity requirements for buying from a manufacturer are met and the container is filled.

This cuts out the other steps in the supply chain and breaks down the barriers of trade, so items can be sold for a lot cheaper than retail.

This is a similar business model structure to Amazon, which buys goods from suppliers and sells them onto customers at cheaper prices.

Container Door’s site lambasts the traditional way of selling through a supply chain, calling it “very expensive and very old fashioned” and “too many fingers in the pie”.

The business launched in early September, featuring items like kayaks, paddleboards and patio heaters.

All items hold a one-year warranty and are tested by the team in their showroom prior to ordering.

Curious customers are also offered the chance to check out the products in person or stop by for a coffee and a chat at the company’s showroom in Auckland.

Container Door also only buys from factories that are socially compliant, with Nathan visiting each factory himself.

Quirky videos accompany each of the products to show the company is legitimate, as are the products.

Nathan says for the future, the business model is flexible enough to be reversed.

He says Container Door can be launched in other countries, allowing other people from all over the world to access New Zealand products.

“I am really passionate about New Zealand and being able to create a model that can help Kiwi businesses grow is really exciting for me,” Nathan says.

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