Outdoor Power Equipment dealer STIHL SHOP Te Rapa has more than doubled its retail floor space.
The Hamilton born and raised owners Pete and Dale Banks celebrated the end of a decade of running the ship in Te Rapa Straight by commissioning purpose-built premises at 39 Te Kowhai Road East. The new shop opened on September 4.
“Our old STIHL SHOP, a converted gas station, had 200 square metres of retail floor space, but our new shop has 420 square metres,” Pete said.
That’s more than twice the room to display Stihl’s extensive range of blowers, brush cutters, chainsaws, combi systems, hedgetrimmers, edgers, high pressure cleaners, vacuums and concrete saws. There is now plenty of room to also display a more comprehensive range of personal safety equipment including chaps, together with a full range of oils, bar lubes and lubricants.
STIHL SHOP Te Rapa also stocks a large range of other Outdoor Power Equipment, including the Masport President range of lawnmowers, Cub Cadet, Rover, Stiga, and Big Dog ride on lawn tractors, Honda lawnmowers, pumps and generators, Meiwa plate compactors and rammers, Hansa chippers, Ziegler & Brown and Masport BBQs and accessories, together with a range of other outdoor power tools including petrol waterblasters, log splitters, and turbo vacs.
“We are situated in a very good location, right next to The Base shopping centre, so we hope to capture a lot of that market,” Pete said.
“We wanted to offer a real customer experience with a nice, new, well-presented shop.”
The move has created two new jobs, a part-time and full-time sales person, bringing the staff up to 10. It has also given STIHL SHOP stalwart Sam Dawson the chance to step up to the role as manager.
“If you don’t have good staff you don’t have a business,” Pete said. “We are very fortunate that we have got great staff, and the new environment is better for them. We know that we’ve got there with the help of our staff and with the help of our loyal customers.”
The move to new premises has also made Te Rapa the biggest STIHL SHOP retail floor in the country.
STIHL SHOP Te Rapa supplies the ever-growing domestic market to whom the battery-powered range of outdoor power tools is attractive. STIHL has really embraced this new technology and it is literally running out the door, with in excess of 24 different models available, and this continues to grow.
Such tools can come with large, back mounted, battery packs, providing the operators with up to 800 minutes of uninterrupted use which is ideal for contractors and commercial customers. They’re not only inexpensive to operate, but also very quiet and ideal for use in residential areas.
Farmers and lifestyle block owners are also regular customers of Pete, Dale and their staff.
But STIHL SHOP Te Rapa is also about supplying commercial and industrial operators with the best outdoor power tools possible for the job at hand. They have a strong following in the commercial sector in the Hamilton and greater Waikato region.
STIHL SHOP Te Rapa also sells Masport and Kent wood fires, have hire machines available for their customers and run courses on chainsaw safety and operation.
But that is not all.
The new STIHL SHOP Te Rapa includes an entertainment corner for kids, a lounge for refreshments and a customer toilet/rest room.
“It’s a lot more practical than where we were before,” he said. “A lot nicer. Parents can shop at a much more leisurely pace with their children. It’s great to be able to offer that to families.”
The STIHL family founded the brand in Waiblingen, Germany, in 1926 and it is still family-owned.
STIHL SHOP Te Rapa, like other Stihl Shops around New Zealand, is licensed to sell and service the brand’s outdoor power equipment. The Te Rapa business is also a family affair, with Pete and Dale’s son, Jarrod, and daughter, Nicole Karalus, playing various roles in the business over the years.
”It is important for us not just to sell the products, but to ensure that every customer leaves our store with the correct tool for the correct application.” Pete said.
“When we sell any petrol product they are fuelled and run up, and ready to go for the customer,” Pete said. “After the first five hours, or one month, we offer the customer a first service for free.”
This service is carried out by one of STIHL SHOP Te Rapa’s skilled technicians who operate out of a full equipped and modern workshop.
STIHL SHOP Te Rapa offer their customers a service reminder programme. Text reminders are sent to customers when their power tools become due for servicing. As a general rule of thumb, commercial customers and heavy users receive reminders six monthly, and all others annually.
STIHL SHOP Te Rapa is open seven days a week, and also open on public holidays from 10am-4pm.