Why standards matter for retailers

  • Opinion
  • October 13, 2016
  • Carmen Mak
Why standards matter for retailers

Standards matter to everyone and for a variety of reasons. Although they are probably not thinking about it, New Zealanders’ lives are affected every day by standards and standardisation. Every day ‘invisible’ standards solutions help keep New Zealand homes, public buildings, playgrounds, electrical appliances, and health services safe. They also protect people and our environment, and increase innovation, productivity, and trade. They are an intrinsic part of our local and global economies.

Put simply, a standard is an agreed way of doing things. Metrology – the science of measurement – is a good example. Trade and industrialisation would be almost impossible without common scales for mass, size, and volume. A long time ago, measurements in Sweden were made according to the size of the local vicar’s foot. This worked ok if people stayed within their village, but if the neighbouring vicars were bigger or smaller, it made it very difficult to trade between villages. The introduction of standard measurements made trading much easier.

There are many benefits standards provide to retailers

Standards can cut your costs through improved systems and processes; increase your customer satisfaction and build trust through improved safety, quality, and processes; and help reduce your impact on the environment – an issue which is increasingly affecting buyer choice.StandardsBlog-Nightwear.png

Product safety standards give you and your customers assurance that the goods you are selling are safe and reliable and, in some cases, lawful. There are some products that cannot be sold in New Zealand unless they meet the safety standard, for example children’s cots, nightwear, and toys. If a product safety standard applies to products you are selling, you are responsible for ensuring your products comply with the appropriate standard. Work is currently underway at Standards New Zealand to adopt the international standard ISO 10377 Consumer product safety – Guidelines for suppliers.

Electrical fittings and appliances also cannot be sold in New Zealand unless they meet safety standards. A new fitting or appliance that is offered for sale is deemed to be electrically safe if it complies with AS/NZS 3820 Essential safety requirements for electrical equipment or an applicable ststandardsblog-appliancesandard listed in Schedule 4 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations.  This helps keep New Zealanders safe from fires, shocks, and explosions when using their toasters, hair dryers, kettles, microwaves, and so on.

Quality, environmental, risk, energy, and information security management are all covered by standards. They can offer you a leading edge in a competitive market by ensuring that your business operations are as efficient as possible, by increasing productivity, and by reassuring your customers that your products, systems and organisations are safe, reliable, and good for the environment.

Retailers should become involved in the development of standards

Standards are created by the people who need them. Experts in their fields are approved to form the committees who develop the technical content. Getting involved in this process can give you early access to information that could shape the market in the future, give your company a voice in the development of standards, and help to keep market access open.

There is more information on standards and Standards New Zealand on our website. You can follow progress of standards development work by subscribing to Standards New Zealand’s free e-magazine Touchstone.

The Commerce CommissionEnergy Safety, and Consumer Protection websites also provide retailers with useful information on standards and product safety.

Retail NZ and Standards New Zealand are interested in having a conversation with retailers on the importance of standards, and why standards are relevant to retail businesses. If you have any questions or need more information send an email to

This was republished from Retail NZ's blog.

​ ​

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.


Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

  • Opinion
  • March 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gun retail will change after the Christchurch shooting

In the wake of an appalling attack, public sentiment around guns sales has changed. NZ Retail and The Register editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn considers how gun retailers can work with the community in this new environment.

Read more
Sponsored content

Protect against porch pirates: The Courier Box

Necessity is the mother of innovation, and this is certainly the case for The Courier Box designer and developer Joanna Steel.


How did that happen: Customisable Products

  • News
  • March 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How did that happen: Customisable Products

According to the Forbes 2018 trend report consumers are increasingly searching for personalization of products, services, and experiences. From wallets, phone cases, apparel, pet accessories, plates, bedding, and even number plates, if it can be purchased, it can be monogrammed, personalized, and used as a display of our individualism.

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 ...

Here we go again

  • Opinion
  • March 14, 2019
  • Satish Ranchhod
Here we go again

After losing some steam over 2018, another year of moderate growth in retail spending is on the cards for 2019.

Read more

Kathmandu security breach may have captured customer data

  • News
  • March 14, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Kathmandu security breach may have captured customer data

Outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu is investigating a suspected customer data breach on its trading websites.

Read more

Briscoe Group notches another record annual result

  • News
  • March 14, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Briscoe Group notches another record annual result

Briscoe Group has reported a record full year profit after a surge of sales going into the Chirstmas shopping season.

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