A whole new world of shopping for Mangawhai
BY JULIA WADE
Grocery shopping in the near future will require a lot less travel for locals with the recent announcement that a New World will be moving into the neighbourhood. But what will this mean for local businesses?
Part of the Mangawhai Central development along Molesworth Drive, the New World (NW) store – a brand owned by grocery and liquor retail cooperative Foodstuffs – is set to open in late 2021.
Foodstuffs also own the Pak’n’Save and Four Square brands.
Foodstuffs North Island General Manager of Property and Membership, Lindsay Rowles, says the company ‘is thrilled’ to provide greater shopping convenience for locals and holiday makers alike and to help accommodate the ‘growing needs’ of Mangawhai.
“We are always looking for ways to better serve the communities we operate in… Mangawhai is a rapidly growing beachside community and an important location for us to grow the New World brand,” she says. “We know there is great demand and support for a new supermarket in the town, so we’re looking forward to collaborating with the Mangawhai community on potential store features and sharing more about what shoppers can expect over the coming years.”
Kiwi owned and operated, NW will be Mangawhai’s first full-service supermarket ‘while staying at a size and character deemed suitable’ for the area and will also will create job opportunities, although to date, an owner-operator has not yet been appointed, says Foodstuffs Head of External Relations, Antoinette Laird.
“But rest assured our priority is having someone with the community’s interests and needs at heart. We do go through a very thorough process to ensure the best fit.”
Although both the Village and Heads Four Square owners decided not to comment regarding possible operation of the new store, a Village Four Square spokesperson did say they hoped the corporation would take into consideration the local Four Square proprietors and look after the local community interests.
Discussions on Mangawhai social media reveals concern and empathy regarding NW’s effect on local merchants: ‘Feel sorry for businesses that have been here for years… employing local residents and surviving through the winter period. I know we need to move forward but do we really need the stark Box Stores. New Jobs.... really at what cost?’
Some declared their loyalty to local shops while enjoying the variety of the proposed NW: ‘Won’t give up the amazing butcher we have here, his meat quality is superb, nor the fresh veg at market’.
However overall the posts were generally positive: ‘I’m in Waipu and will definitely be shopping in NW, you guys are so lucky!’ and ‘It’s about time… we are growing by the day’.
Users also commented they are ‘thrilled’ and ‘grateful’ that the long drive to far away supermarkets will become a thing of the past, especially in regards to less cars travelling on the road and rising petrol prices: ‘New World is expensive but with savings on fuel it will be a little bonus’ and ‘The difference in grocery prices is negligible when weighed against fuel costs to travel the extra distance’.
Mangawhai Village shop-owner and multi-award winning butcher Dan Klink says he’s ‘not too worried’ about the coming NW as he believes the business has ‘enough good community support’.
“People who shop at supermarkets always will regardless if its five minutes down the road or gets delivered to the door,” he says. “However I think it could ruin the village feel of the town that we’ve all built up over the years though, but hopefully people will still shop locally and support the community that everyone has moved here to enjoy. I’ve lived here for 25 years and seen the changes and development, it was always going to happen, after all they’ve had the billboard there for the last 12 years…”
The proposed New World, making food shopping easier and less time-consuming for many in the area. But what is the flip-side for Mangawhai’s retailers? GRAPHIC/SUPPLIED
“Mangawhai is a rapidly growing beachside community … We know there is great demand and support for a new supermarket in the town.”
Lindsay Rowles, Foodstuffs