Two years until pre-quake profit margins recovered, says Kaikoura retailer

  • News
  • December 8, 2016
  • Caitlin Salter
Two years until pre-quake profit margins recovered, says Kaikoura retailer

Coastal Sports owner Dwayne Fussell says the online store has been a lifeline, but delivering goods takes some creative thinking.

"Freight has been interesting,” he says. “Anybody and everybody has taken parcels out if they're heading to Christchurch. We've had family meeting them at the other end to drop parcels off at the depot."

Coastal Sports has supplied Kaikoura locals and tourists with sports and adventure gear since it opened in 2003 as a franchise of R&R Sport. Since 2013, Coastal Sports has been operating as an independent retailer, after choosing to leave the franchise when The Warehouse Group acquired it, rather than shutting up shop in Kaikoura.

Traditionally, the online store has only been between 10 and 15 percent of monthly turnover, but with main access routes into Kaikoura cut off and tourist numbers down, the retailer is now aiming to grow the online business by 30 to 40 percent.

During the flurry of earthquakes on November 14, Fussell spent the night sitting on the peninsula thinking about his shop and what would be left of it in the morning.

Worried about the violence of the shakes and the age of most of Kaikoura's buildings, he assumed there would be nothing left. 

Thankfully, the store held up incredibly well. Fragile surfboards remained held in their racks by bungee cords and after a couple of hours of clean-up, Coastal Sports was open again.

Local customers have always been an integral part of the retailer's business, and Fussell says the residents have shown his shop loyalty and support in the last few weeks.

"Locals have shown us amazing support and gone out of their way to help us get through this as a business. Most are really trying to do all their Christmas shopping locally."

All retailers and businesses in Kaikoura are suffering a lot of financial stress at the moment. The summer season in the tourist hotspot is key for helping most retailers survive the quieter winter months, but Fussell says people are trying to remain positive and patient.

Coastal Sports relies on summer spending to fund stock purchases for the following season, so Fussell hopes the online presence will be enough to get them through.

"We'll get through this summer trading at 50 percent but to get through an even quieter winter and then fund next summer is taking some planning."

Fussell anticipates businesses operating as usual again by next summer, if access to Kaikoura is reinstated. But he predicts it could be as long as two years to start seeing profit margins return to pre-quake numbers again.

Coastal Sports have been growing the online element of the business for the last two and a half years, which puts them in a better position than other retailers who are now trying to replace lost foot traffic with new online stores.

"It won't replace the lost trade from tourism, but every bit helps," Fussell says.

Kaikoura retailers have been working together to come up with promotions to support each other in the wake of the earthquake. Former competitors have become allies and initiatives like Shop Kaikoura are helping businesses stay afloat.

Coastal Sports is currently running a pre-Christmas sale to drive traffic to the website and Fussell says it’s important to the company to stay on it’s own two feet.

The most important thing all New Zealanders can do to help Kaikoura is keep coming, Fussell says.

He hopes the changed landscape and risen seabed with attract more tourists in time.

"People need to check Kaikoura out once we're back up and running with roads and accommodation.

"The earthquake is a unique event with the coastline lifting out of the sea, it really is worth a look."

​ ​

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.


Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

The $200 million-plus direct sales economy contains many lessons retailers can use. As part of a wider look at this thriving corner of retail, we created a quick explainer showing how this business model typically works.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the upliners

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the upliners

We profiled different participants in the direct sales industry to find out what retailers can learn from them. Meet Isagenix distributors Adam Nesbitt and Bianca Bathurst.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the business builder

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the business builder

As part of a wider story looking at what retailers can learn from the direct sales industry, we profiled Isagenix distributor Ben Frost.

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.

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 ...
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 ...

Leveling up: Exploring multi-level marketing in New Zealand

Is the $200 million-plus direct sales economy retail by another name or something different? Regardless, what can we learn from it?


A spectrum of retailers

  • Opinion
  • April 18, 2019
  • David Farrell
A spectrum of retailers

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, retail commentator Dave Farrell considers the role of those on the spectrum in retail.

Read more

How on-trend is your retail business?

  • Sponsored Content
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sponsored content
How on-trend is your retail business?

New insights from Visa highlight five evolving trends emerging from savvy retailers around the world. We’ve taken these global trends and looked at how they are playing out with merchants in New Zealand, and we’d now like to hear what you think of them.

Read more
Next page
Results for
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.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit