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BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
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Stihl Shop franchisee celebrates first decade with a brand he believes in
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Stihl Shop - What every franchisee wants to see: a shop full of customers
Dale & Pete Banks 'If you're considering a franchise, Stihl Shop has a first-class reputation'
Pete Banks might be a seasoned salesman but he needs a product he believes in – and he has enormous faith in the Stihl Shop retail model. ‘It’s evolved out of all recognition in the 10 years I’ve owned my own Stihl Shop outlet in Hamilton. Stihl is a world-wide market leader in the outdoor power equipment industry, so it’s no surprise we have great products, but each Stihl Shop also has fully-equipped service centres with skilled technical staff to ensure full support and back-up is provided for customers. That provides an additional revenue stream for owners like me, which makes the business even more profitable.’
Having the right brand and models are important, and Pete understands the importance of offering his customers not only the correct product for its required application but also the best possible service, too. ‘The other evening, well after-hours, a lady came to the door who clearly needed assistance so we re-opened the shop for her. It turned out she’d had a bad experience trying to buy a lawnmower in a couple of the big box stores, so I made her feel welcome and reassured her that if I was still here, the shop was open. She purchased a new lawnmower from us on the spot and no doubt she will go away and tell everyone what happened and how well we treated her. You simply can’t put a value on that.’
Pete went straight into farm labouring after school, but soon recognised that his passion, personality and verbal skills would be advantageous in the sales arena. ‘I was a stock agent for a couple of years while helping my wife, Dale, run a childcare centre, then I went into selling high-end machinery to farmers. It was great experience, but what Dale and I really wanted was our own business as we enjoy working together.’
The opportunity presented itself when two Stihl Shop outlets in Hamilton came on the market together. ‘We’d looked at many businesses, but my feeling about Stihl Shop at the time was if you are going to sell equipment, you should sell the very best. We have not regretted the choice once.’
Pete and Dale opened their purpose-built Stihl Shop in Te Rapa in September this year. ‘“Twice as big, just as friendly,” is our tagline, and our customers love the new environment and retail space as much as we do,’ says Pete with obvious enthusiasm. ‘It’s our shop and it’s a Stihl Shop, which gives us the best of both worlds!’
Stihl Shop has gained its reputation for quality through strict adherence to product quality standards and a heavy emphasis on reliable spare parts and service. The range of equipment includes everything from brushcutters to high pressure cleaners, augers to blowers, as well as clothing, safety equipment and accessory items. Every Stihl Shop is also backed up with a purpose-built facility in Auckland in addition to the headquarters in Germany.
‘The greatest thing about the advancement of the Stihl Shop brand today is that other quality manufacturers and suppliers are queuing up for us to become their exclusive stockists,’ Pete says happily. ‘That says what you need to know about reputation – we are highly recognised among our peers and competitors alike, and in demand within the industry.’
Stihl Shop now has nearly 70 outlets throughout New Zealand and still has opportunities in key areas for passionate retailers to open new premises or convert their brand. The investment required is from around $200,000, depending on location, store size and product range.
Pete says, ‘There are extensive training programmes, a fully supported IT and POS system and a brand that goes everywhere including television, print and online advertising. Best of all, there’s a real community spirit among the owners and we have opportunities throughout the year to join our colleagues and share knowledge and information which makes us that much stronger. Even though I now have 17 years of sales experience behind me, I know the best way to learn is to keep listening – you never stop learning.
‘If you’re considering a franchise, Stihl Shop has a first-class reputation and systems you should be looking for. It’s worth finding out about.’
See this advertorial on page 63 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 4
Contact details for Stihl Shop
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.