Close
 

Light bulb moment: Powershop's Ari Sargent

  • News
  • May 6, 2015
  • Jessy Edwards
Light bulb moment: Powershop's Ari Sargent

Powershop founder Ari Sargent spent years attending boring corporate meetings within the electricity industry before he decided there had to be a better way to sell it.

“It just seemed like madness to me. There was always angst about retail pricing and discussions about how complex it was, and I used to think, ‘Sheesh- how hard can it be to read a meter, send a bill and collect some money?’”

Banks were putting their interest rates out on a board, gas stations had the oil prices of the day up in lights, but electricity was still a product you used while completely in the dark about how much it cost (excuse the pun).

Powershop was born out of Sargent’s desire to shake up the industry, and is based on the premise of creating a consumer good out of electricity.

“One of the dumbest things about electricity is you pay for it after you use it and you have no idea how much it’s going to cost you.”

He wants electricity to be purchased more like a tin of baked beans, where you consciously think, “Yep, I wanna buy that amount of that product at that price.”

Powershop allows consumers to go online and pre-purchase electricity at the rate of the day, taking advantages of specials and packages.

About two-thirds of electricity is now bought actively through Powershop – compared to 35 percent when the company first started.

When asked if treating electricity as a consumer good is the way of the future, Sargent doesn’t predict rapid change.

“I think the old model is fundamentally broken, so I’m sure there will be change to that,” he says.

“We’ve developed a way that’s different that certainly some customers love. Whether it’s for everyone, I don’t know, and the rate of change of incumbent retailers globally is quite slow so even if it was the way of the future it’s 10 to 15 years away.”

Powershop recently launched in Victoria, Australia, and Sargent says 2015 will be a year of looking for other opportunities outside New Zealand.

In terms of competition, Sargent says others could easily nick off with their ideas in principle, but he’s not worried.

“In theory you could look at what we’ve done and reverse engineer the web platform but the bit that’s hard to replicate is the brand and the attitude and the philosophy.”

This story was originally published in NZRetail magazine issue 736, March 2015.

​ ​

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.

 

Restaurant Brands turns 22

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Restaurant Brands turns 22

As it prepares to celebrate its 22nd birthday, the listed corporate franchisor foresees a sunny future for the three – soon to be four - multi-site branded food retail chains it manages in New Zealand.

Read more
 
 

Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Linwood businesses struggle in mosque attack aftermath

A group of Christchurch businesses are struggling to get back on their feet after the attack on their neighbouring Linwood Mosque. Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

Read more
 
 

Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

  • News
  • March 26, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Farmers account awarded to Clemenger Group

99 and Colenso BBDO have won the creative and customer experience business for Farmers. The win, after a competitive pitch, sees the advertising account return to 99 after a six-year hiatus.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
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 ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
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 ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
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 ...
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 ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hemp products go beyond the specialty shelves

Since hemp seeds’ legalisation for growing, manufacture and sale in November 2018, supermarkets have quickly pivoted to include hemp products such as protein powder in their health food and specialty sections, but the trendy ingredient has already found its way into mainstream product categories.

Read more
 
 

No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

  • News
  • March 25, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
No longer just for hippies: Is hemp the next coconut oil?

The Naturally Good Expo, held over June 2 – 3 in Sydney, will bring retailers, brands and practitioners together to learn about all things healthy, organic and natural. Among the topics discussed by industry leaders at the expo is the recent legalisation of hemp – it’s popping up everywhere. We asked John Leith of supplier Hemp Oz and speaker Susan Tapper of Holistic Marketing Healthy Sales for more information about this exciting new product category.

Read more
 

Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

  • News
  • March 21, 2019
  • The Register team
Military-style semi-automatics ban announced

As of 3pm on March 21, a wide range of semi-automatic weapons have been reclassified under section 74A(c) of the Arms Act as requiring an E endorsement on a firearms license. This means they can no longer be sold to those with A-category gun licenses, and their purchase now requires police approval.

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.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}