Last week Hastings District Council and Foodstuffs North Island announced a new supermarket for Flaxmere, part of a new retail complex to be built by Foodstuffs on vacant land adjacent to Swansea Road in Flaxmere.
The announcement was the culmination of 10 years of council engaging with the community and testing the market with potential supermarket operators.
While this is welcome news and caters for growth in the suburb, it begs the question; why is Flaxmere getting a new New World supermarket when a PAK’nSAVE would offer better value to local shoppers?
When asked about the factors it considered for the new site, a Foodstuffs spokesperson replied: “When we’re building a new store, many factors are taken into consideration. Top of the list is what the local community needs and wants.
“With its wide range and great value, New World is perfect for serving communities across New Zealand. New World have been proud to serve the Flaxmere community for many years and we’re delighted this will now continue for many years to come in the newly built store.”
Strange then, that Foodstuffs North Island didn’t respond when asked whether it had asked the Flaxmere community what kind of supermarket it wanted, and whether the community was given the choice between a New World or PAK’nSAVE store.
Earlier this year consumer satisfaction company Canstar Blue research announced that PAK’nSAVE was New Zealand’s favourite supermarket brand, earning 5 Stars for overall satisfaction, 5 Stars for deals and specials available and 5 Stars for the all-important category of value for money. In contrast, New World received only three Stars for value for money.
Flaxmere is a suburb with a lot of heart. Mayor Hazelhurst noted in the Council’s press release: “Flaxmere is set to grow in the coming year with all the new homes being built, and it sits within the wider strategy we have for our Fabulous Flaxmere that’s been in motion over the past 10 years – its housing, amenities, facilities and parks.”
Foodstuffs North Island chief executive Chris Quin said: ”The company has made a commitment to be ‘Here for NZ’ and that included a promise to support local communities to thrive.”
Wouldn’t a PAK’nSAVE, the brand that promises New Zealand’s lowest food prices, be the best way to support the local community of Flaxmere, with its high deprivation rate?
The new Flaxmere New World store will provide employment and career opportunities for up to 80 locals including experts in fresh foods, produce, butchery, bakery, seafood and deli.
It will take about three years to design and construct the new supermarket and retail complex. The new store will be open by mid-2024, and the old New World store close.
Time enough to ask Foodstuffs North Island to rethink its New World decision and open a PAK’nSAVE in Flaxmere instead.