New Zealand flag New Zealand: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in New Zealand

Evolution of the Sector
An import company will use the services of an agent, a distributor-importer, or will sell directly its production or services. Using agents enables to sell a huge variety of products and to take the customer's needs into consideration. Sales are carried out through wholesalers and retailers. The concept of direct purchase is well established in New Zealand. Agents and importers/distributors networks are known for their technique, service, their after-sale service and other useful services for the manufacturer.
A large number of foreign companies' subsidiaries directly import from their parent company and then distribute their products, or complete their local production.
Franchising is a recent concept experiencing a growing success in New Zealand.

The total retail sales trend has been flat since 2007. Half of the 24 retail industries had modest sales movements, increasing or decreasing by no more than NZD 4 million. Core retailing (which excludes the four vehicle-related industries) fell 0.2 percent (NZD 8 million).
Leading the decrease in July's 2008 sales were motor vehicle retailing, down 5.3 percent (NZD 32 million) and supermarket and grocery stores, down 2.0 percent (NZD 24 million).

Industries that had the largest sales increases were clothing and softgoods retailing, up 9.0 percent (NZD18 million), and department stores, up 5.9 percent (NZD18 million).

Market share
In 2021, New Zealand has the eighth highest prices for tradable commodities in the OECD. The New Zealand-owned supermarket chain Foodstuffs has about 53% market share (Canstar Blue, 2020). Woolworths, its main competitor, operates under the brand name Countdown (32.4% market share - Canstar Blue, 2020). Together, Foodstuffs and Woolworths hold a duopoly over the food and beverage market with hundreds of stores across New Zealand. Sales made by supermarkets have shown stable growth over the last few years but the number of convenience stores is increasing, with a constantly growing volume of sales. New Zealand customers have a preference for shopping malls, but independent and specialised stores have been able to adapt and are successfully targeting high revenue customers. Gourmet supermarkets have a growing customer appeal. Supermarkets such as Farro and Jones the Grocer are all Auckland-based retailers that appeal to the high-end consumer who enjoys artisanal and quality-assured products.
Retail Sector Organisations
New Zealand Retailers Association
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
New Zealand Chambers of Commerce

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Latest Update: May 2024

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