Business Profiles


last updated 17/12/2021

Chain Saw?Chain Store


last updated 17/12/2021

Stihl Shop licensees open a second outlet to capitalise on a great opportunity

When I left school, I never thought I’d be selling chainsaws!’ So says Judy Leishman who, with husband Pete, owns two Stihl Shop outlets on Auckland’s North Shore. ‘I guess life changes and you change with it.’

The changes have certainly been good for Judy and Pete. ‘When Pete left the Army after serving 21 years, he took on a lawnmowing round which allowed him flexibility for our children, as I had a full-time job running a medical centre. As the children grew up, Pete decided he’d like a mowing shop, and we found this little place in Whangaparāoa that happened to have a Stihl dealership.

‘It wasn’t a proper showroom, but the option to sell some of the best-known outdoor products in the world was just too good to miss, so we bought it and, in 2010, found decent-sized premises that then opened as Stihl Shop Silverdale. I think many people find the prospect of a new business quite daunting, but we had a lot of experience behind us. It just felt like another step, and we were aided so much by Stihl Shop’s superb training and support that it was an immediate hit.

‘We haven’t looked back since, and now we’ve opened a second store in Browns Bay which will be all about sales – we will handle repairs and servicing from our Silverdale workshop with existing equipment and staff.’

Service adds value

Stihl is one of the best-known brands in New Zealand and has been a successful supplier of outdoor power equipment since 1926. The brand has its own licensed network of specialist stores to provide customers with the best possible advice and support, coupled with spare parts and servicing – and that’s the opportunity that Peter and Judy jumped at.

‘Selling a great brand like Stihl gives you a huge advantage, but the real value is in helping customers look after their products properly, maintain them well and keep them doing their job,’ Judy suggests. ‘That builds relationships – and relationships build business because people like going to people they can relate to.’

Mark Ballantine, Retail Network Manager, agrees. ‘That’s why every licensee goes through a long process of due diligence before they are accepted into the Stihl Shop family. Judy and Pete are a great example, and we were pleased to support their opening a second outlet.’

Good for couples

Judy says new Stihl Shop licensees will need good people skills (both with customers and staff), good sales skills and an eye for figures. ‘Getting a handle on the financial side is something I really recommend, which is why this is a business that suits a couple very well. In our case, I was very used to cash flow and forecasts, while Pete is excellent on the sales and service side. There’s also much support and guidance from the Stihl Shop group.

‘Talking to other licensees is important, too – we have a super conference every year and get to know everyone from all over the country, then go on sharing ideas and stories in between. It’s like having lots of siblings.’

Multiple income streams

Stihl Shop has over 75 outlets throughout New Zealand, with more opportunities for licensees to open new premises and existing retailers to convert their brand. The investment required is from around $400,000 +gst, depending on location and store size.

‘Stihl Shop sells the best outdoor power equipment available, and there are lots of income streams within the business to generate substantial revenue,’ says Mark. ‘As an owner, you need to be hands-on in the shop because that way you can keep a finger on the pulse and respond to your customers’ needs as they change – but if you can do that, you can create a very rewarding business indeed.

‘Contact us to find out more.’   

See this advertorial on page 35 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 30 Issue 4 

Contact details for Stihl Shop

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