Close
 

Editor's view: Here’s to the outliers

  • Opinion
  • December 19, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Editor's view: Here’s to the outliers

Driving through the central North Island towards Wellington one day a few years back, I passed a shop which claimed to sell computer systems and firewood. The premises were a former service station painted rose pink. It sounds like something out of a dream, but I remember it clearly.

This is my favourite part of New Zealand’s SME-heavy economy – these odd little stores that clearly exist to satisfy the whim of one particular person. This kind of store reflects the owner’s personality through an aggregation of business decisions in the same way as social media, or Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes, reflect their creators.

Of course, this isn’t the way to appeal to a wide range of customers. Every person alive is unique, and if your shop is too tailored to your own tastes, you’re catering to a target market of one. Corporates favour the opposite approach, using research to create a proposition that caters to the needs of as many people as possible.

We seem to have seen a slower rate of foreign corporates entering the New Zealand market compared to 2016’s parade of rapid big-name roll-outs, but that being said, Australian retailers including Chemist Warehouse, Adairs and Wittner Shoes all opened stores in New Zealand in the last 12 months.

This year, as with the previous, we farewelled a number of apparel retailers - most notably, the New Zealand franchisee for UK fast fashion retailer Topshop and Topman. Topshop was the first of the foreign fast fashion retailers to enter New Zealand, and has certainly been the first to leave as it folded after just three years.

As 2017 draws to a close, the topic on everyone’s lips is Amazon’s impending launch in Australia. Will it cross the ditch to New Zealand? If so, what will happen?

The corporate model is safe, as befits the enormous amount of money at stake. Like any enterprise involving human beings, there’s plenty of room for small-scale creativity within that model. But as a philosophy, it lacks a certain excitement.

For the smaller retailers – and compared to Amazon, that means every retailer in New Zealand – it seems that the best way to fight back is to continue to work hard at offering what Amazon can’t. That means having a connection to your community; offering excellent service; having a unique proposition and providing a great in-store experience.

One of the many benefits of selling computers and firewood out of a rose-pink service station is that, I assume, nobody else is across your particular niche. Not every retailer is as intensely specialised, but if they fulfill a genuine need within their community and do it well, there’s no reason Amazon will hold much appeal for their customers. 

So, here’s to the unique propositions of New Zealand retail. May your 2018 be rosy.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Icebreaker steps into sharky waters for latest ad

  • News
  • April 20, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Icebreaker steps into sharky waters for latest ad

Icebreaker has released ‘Shark Scientist’, the first of three ads for its latest 'Human Nature' campaign with Motion Sickness. The two-minute spot focuses on marine biologist and shark enthusiast Riley Elliott.

Read more
 
 

Why minimum wage rises matter

  • Opinion
  • April 20, 2018
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
Why minimum wage rises matter

After writing a feature for NZ Retail magazine on recent and upcoming changes to employment law, freelance writer Rachel Helyer Donaldson was struck by the ideological distance between the retailers and retail staff she spoke with.

Read more
 
 

Online/offline: Where is the bottom line?

  • Opinion
  • April 20, 2018
  • John Long
Online/offline: Where is the bottom line?

Whether he is pitching a new store design concept to a retailer, or forecasting retail floor space demand in a council hearing, John Long reports his sense of a very dynamic, almost chaotic, future for retail is pervasive.

Read more
 
topics
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 
 
 
 

Showpo: Monitoring and monetising social marketing

  • News
  • April 19, 2018
  • Courtney Devereux
Showpo: Monitoring and monetising social marketing

Online clothing retailer Showpo boasts an impressive social media reach, using different platforms to promote its brand to its audience of over two million. We spoke to chief marketing officer of Showpo, Mark Baartse, about the best way to market on social media and if he thinks influencers have longevity in a world ruled by ‘likes’.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita@tangiblemedia.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}