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Chapter 1 of 5

What you’re getting yourself into

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Retail guides > Starting a retail business > What you’re getting yourself into

What you’re getting yourself into

Retail is as popular as ever. Consumer spending keeps climbing, and lots of new entrants are flocking to the industry. Let’s see what life looks like once you get started.

Opportunity and risk in New Zealand retail

There’s plenty of financial potential in local retail, and lots of success stories to prove it. But owning a business involves a steep learning curve and it takes new starters a while to get a handle on the business side of things.

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NZ retail by the numbers

Data courtesy of Retail NZ and Stats NZ

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Kiwis spend almost $100 billion with retailers. Experts say it will be up to $120b by 2030.

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About a quarter of the country’s 55,000 retail businesses started up in the past two years.

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Almost half exit within five years, because they find the effort outweighs the financial rewards.

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Lots of retailers find profit margins tight and are exploring ways to grow their income.

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Just about all business owners (not just retailers) say they wish they could work faster.

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Retailers say they mostly get a kick out of being in business and learning on the job.

The pathway to success

In short, retailers are resourceful. A lot are finding ways to get started without mortgaging the family home, and they’re happy to have made the leap. But they’re in a race to conquer the financial side of the business, and find more time for themselves, before burning out.



Our retail guides are designed to help. There’s this one on starting a retail business, one on managing time (and people), and another on making money in retail.

Chapter 2: Buying and managing stock

Most retailers have to buy and pay for inventory before they can sell it. Let’s look at how that works, and what sorts of challenges it presents.

Read chapter 2


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Everything you need to know about starting a retail business in one handy printable guide.

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