Question :
Help!  I am in dire need of advice and really do not know where to turn.  In August, 2015, I opened a small retail shop in one of Auckland’s then premier precincts.  We are the only shop of it’s kind in NZ and offer quality products that are imported from all around the world and NZ made too.  Most are only available in NZ from us. Our brand name is certainly out there and the feedback has been awesome.  “What an amazing shop” “Wow, I love **** (product)” “this is as good or better than any other **** shop in the world”  Sales however have proved more challenging.  The location turned into a retail disaster area.  Despite our lease not terminating until Nov, 2020, we took the plunge to move to a new CBD location in Sept, 2019.  All indications have been this was the right move and we even started to show a profit.  Then – bang.  Closed shop, no sales, 40% of our sales come from international and domestic tourists.  In order to move, and pay out our old landlord, we had to re-finance (through second tier lender.)  The old landlord has refused to negotiate with us.  Our new landlord is awesome.  We have an online and social media presence, but our product, really, ideally, needs to be fitted.  Our finance runs out in a few weeks and with the current state of sales and projected sales I don’t know if we will be able to re-finance.  Do we try, do we see if we can sell as a going concern, do we try and find an investor, I am not sure if we will still be viable for the short to medium term?  Do we close – in which case I will lose my home as it is held as security against the loan.  The finance runs out soon and I really don’t know who to turn to.  I have so many questions?

Question submitted 17/04/20 @ 12:29pm
Industry: Retailing
  • Up

    That does sound like a real challenge. My heartfelt advice is that in a situation like this, you have to try everything.A great Winston Churchill quote is ‘When you’re going through hell, keep going!’.Try to take some solace and a pinch of optimism from the fact that you looked to be getting to a better than break-even position before Covid hit. Talk to your bank, your lawyer, anyone and everyone who might be able to help. Often help comes from left field but you have to keep looking.

    The fact that your product is somewhat reliant on tourism visitors adds another challenge but perhaps you can pivot to on-line, at least for that market?

    I do feel the weight of having your house as collateral. Given you’ve invested so much in an idea that you so clearly believe in, don’t leave a stone unturned in trying to keep it viable.

    This Covid era won’t last forever.

    And if I come across anyone or any mechanism that might help you, I will be back in touch.

    Best wishes.


    Hello, to say your not along and things will get better doesn’t help you right now. Definitely talk to your bank and landlord ASAP to minimise your exposure. Most are providing support to business owners. Make sure you are taking advantage of the wage subsidy which owners can leverage and any other subsidies MBIE is offering.

    Cash is king for everyone right now. Can you add online to your sales channel? Udemy offer excellent training online from setting up and driving online sales from as little as $10. Also investigate Shopify.

    It appears we will be out of CV19 sooner than most but tourism will be an issue longer term. If your products are locally made can you promote NZ Made and start selling on Trademe?

    Hang in there.

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