RETAIL WITH BOUNCE
New Para Rubber franchisee stretches to a second store within a year
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Para Rubber Henderson
Double franchisee Anna Yule (centre) with some of the friendly team at her new Henderson store
The gloom merchants might think bricks and mortar retail is dying, but it all depends what you’re selling. ‘Having started in 1910, Para Rubber is one of the best-known retail brands in New Zealand and we’ve had a fantastic year,’ says franchisor Vaughan Moss with a massive smile. ‘And our newest franchisee has done so well, she’s opened a second store within ten months.’
Para Rubber specialises in everything rubber from mattresses to boots, via hoses and glues, for every household, automotive or industrial purpose imaginable. ‘We are the only retailer that carries a comprehensive range of foam from ordinary upholstery to specialised acoustic foams, rubber sheeting, floorings, extrusions and seals,’ says Vaughan.
‘We offer what online retailers can’t – immediacy, personal service and a cut-to-measure service with a large commercial foam cutter in each store. The company is also famous for its above-ground Para Pools, and you can imagine how those, and our Intex pools, sold during our long, humid summer.’
There are currently 11 Para Rubber stores in New Zealand, with immediate locations available in South Auckland, Dunedin and Hawkes Bay and new opportunities in other centres developing all the time. The latest to open is in Henderson, West Auckland, where new franchisee Anna Yule is still catching her breath after a hectic year that has seen her open not just one but two Para Rubber stores.
‘We had thought about opening a second store in the dim and distant future, but it all happened much sooner than we expected,’ says Anna. ‘Vaughan and the franchisor team had done a great deal of work around demographics which demonstrated the need for a store in Henderson. Our first store in Wairau Road has traded so far ahead of our sales projections since opening in April 2017 that we decided it was an opportunity not to be missed. We’ve only had three weeks in Henderson so far, but there are already plenty of customers coming through the door.’
With a long and varied background in retail with various leading brands, when she started looking for her own business Anna knew all the possible pitfalls. ‘I wanted a business with product that couldn’t easily be mimicked, filling a niche which offered a sustainable business. I wanted low establishment costs that weren’t going to stretch bank borrowing or require unaffordable debt servicing, and I wanted a service element which would allow proper interaction with customers rather than just taking money.
‘In addition to all this, my husband and I have three children so I wanted a family-friendly business, too – he has his own career, so this would be my baby. Para Rubber ticked all these boxes. It is a historic brand with massive awareness, and it’s a destination store that people seek out for solving problems.’
And Anna liked the fact that Para Rubber has a well-proven franchise model. ‘I know enough about retail to reject trying to start something on my own from the bottom up. Quite apart from all the time, cost and hassle of marketing and building a customer base, I wanted the support, systems, brand and buying power that a franchise could offer.’
When it came to finance, Anna says that buying into such a well-established brand was a real advantage, too. ‘The franchise was very helpful in verifying projected figures with the bank and providing information based on analysis of the other stores’ margins and turnover. The bank was happy with that, so it ensured that we had very little difficulty with raising the capital, and of course it was a similar story when it came to opening Henderson.’
Anna is thoroughly enjoying her two-store business and speaks highly of the support Para Rubber has offered. ‘The training was very good and the team handled store design, fit-out and the initial promotion which enabled us to get off to such a good start at both stores. We have a designated business development manager, and whenever we’ve asked for help there’s been somebody there for us.
‘This is a people business. Para Rubber’s original founder, George Skellerup was clearly a kind and generous man and regarded his 1000 employees as family. He passed on a culture that remains to this day. We’ve found customers do like to come in and have their problems solved so you need to talk and ask questions. Once you know your product, you can generally work out what it is they are looking for and often find a much better solution for them. It’s very rewarding.’
Vaughan Moss says that Para Rubber has opportunities around the country for new franchisees to repeat the success of the latest stores. ‘We are looking for people who understand the DIY mind-set of New Zealanders, have a “can do” attitude and will be tuned into their local market. Total set-up costs, including initial stock, will be between $150,000 and $250,000 depending on size and location.
‘If you fancy joining a truly iconic NZ brand, call me. Para Rubber not only has a great past – as Anna is proving, it has a great future, too.’
See this advertorial on page 55 of Franchise New Zealand Year 27 Issue 01
Contact details for Para Rubber
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advertiser info: franchise business opportunity
|industry retail||investment $150,000 - $250,000||number in NZ 9 and globally 9||FANZ member yes|
|contact Vaughan Moss
p 0-9-532 8794 m 021 921 976
|telephone||find out more listing evaluate|
|investment from||$150,000 - $250,000|
|number in NZ||9|
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.