This is the alternative to paying for a retail space

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Five reasons why the retail alternatives can make you more money right now.  

The biggest hurdle when starting a retail business is identifying the best way to get your product in front of customers.  Unless you have backers or a couple of hundred thousand dollars just sitting around, a conventional retail space may not be an option.  Luckily there are some great alternatives to be able to get you started in the retail space.

Farmers markets

All over the country, farmers markets, craft markets and festivals are becoming more and more popular and are on the lookout for new vendors with high-quality products to offer to their attendees. 

The Urban List has put out a great list of the most popular markets in Auckland covering everywhere from Oratia to Coatesville to get you started with options.  Spring and Summer are often the most popular months, but the majority of markets are now operating year round. 

To make the most out of the exposure at the markets, run weekly competitions, have something new for your regulars each week and flyers on-hand directing them to your website and other markets or retail stores your product is sold.

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Food trucks

With so many restaurants now available to choose from it has become increasingly risky and expensive to pursue setting up a new restaurant.  Food Trucks and Beverage Caravans are becoming increasingly popular as both a market entry point and as franchise operations. The Lucky Taco is an excellent example of a retailer starting out of a food truck and expanding their empire through traditional retail models with their Taco Kits once established.  

The mobility of the operation also means that food trucks can cross a wide range of industries, targeting festivals, wedding and music events to increase their top line profits. 

Mobile retail units

 The food industry is the best known for mobile retail units, but many retailers such as Home Direct have been operating out of mobile units for a very long time and very successfully.  With the advent of Social Media, customers can be continuously updated on the whereabouts of the unit in real time.   

Mobility also gives you the freedom to continually set up shop in new and lucrative spots, giving you the advantage of always being in the best place for your customers without the overhead of a lease.  To make the most out of your Mobile Retail Unit, invest in a smartphone which can support mobile EFTPOS and Credit Card Payments such as ANZ Payclip.


If you are selling a product your customer doesn’t need to see, touch and feel, E-Commerce is a great way to get started. 

You don’t need any of the usual retail start-up costs; your products can be stored in a spare room or a storage unit and with great social media and a well-designed website you can start your sales immediately.  The real beauty of an e-commerce store is that your customer base is so much more extensive than that of a traditional retail store and your niche can be much more specific allowing you a more significant bottom line.


Pop-up shops

Made famous by retailers such as Lululemon, pop up shops can be used to test a market or jump-start sales with a new product or location.  For seasonal products, during holidays where sales are significant, a pop-up store can provide retailers with a way to retail without carrying annual costs.  In between Pop-Ups for a small cost, any excess product can be easily stored in a Storage Unit ready for the next sale.

Shopify has a brilliant guide on how to successfully run a pop-up that is worth taking the time to read.