Raglan Four Square is set to turn from a large convenience store into a “fully fledged” supermarket that will be only the second SuperValue store of its format in the country.
Owner/operators Richard and Jane Jacobsen say Raglan has outgrown the convenience store approach, and work will start within two weeks on redeveloping and rebranding the Bow Street premises that has been the site of the town’s main grocery store since the early 1920s.
The redevelopment, described by store general manager of four months Shane Temata as a “substantial investment”, is being undertaken in conjunction with Progressive Enterprises and signals the end of a long association with Foodstuffs and its iconic Four Square brand.
Richard emphasises the “proper” supermarket will remain 100 per cent New Zealand-owned and operated, continue to employ locals and source local products wherever possible.
Shane says while the supermarket will occupy the same floor space, all-new shelving and presentation will allow a better range of better-value goods and “hundreds of specials weekly”.
The association with Progressive – best known in the North Island for its Countdown chain but in the South Island also for its SuperValue and Fresh Choice supermarkets – will make the likes of the Signature and Home Brand lines available locally.
Shane says they’re also looking at introducing the One Card system that operates at Countdowns and “working through the process” of whether they can offer discounts on fuel. The problem there is that the Countdown chain’s fuel arrangement is with Shell and customers might have to redeem their fuel vouchers in Hamilton.
The new SuperValue supermarket will buy product fresh from the markets daily, and has an award-winning butcher already on site to offer advice or special cuts as well as competitive prices and regular specials on fresh and frozen meat.
Hardware and fishing lines – not usually found in a SuperValue supermarket — are being retained in a nod to the town’s character.
Shane admits that “we’ll never fully stop people going in to Hamilton to shop”. But he says they’ve noticed that more and more locals are buying their groceries in Raglan, and now they will get an alternative that “Raglan really deserves”.
The store will stay open for business throughout the redevelopment, which will include replacement of the lino with slip-resistant polished concrete floors, new computers and tills, and staff retraining.
All work – including exterior painting and signage if the weather allows — is scheduled to be finished by August 23.
However in 18 months or so another aisle will be added by pushing into the storage areas out the back, and another mezzanine floor is also on the cards.
While the Four Square name will be gone from town the historic link with the Petchell family remains, as Wayne Petchell is still owner of the building.
Meantime Richard Jacobsen, who after some years at Whale Bay now lives in Cambridge, is looking to expand on his supermarket interests by opening a Fresh Choice supermarket in Leamington.
New general manager Shane is no stranger to either being in business with Richard or to Raglan, having owned a lifestyle block at Whatawhata for 12 years now and having “behind the scenes” interests here.
To help their SuperValue supermarket foster a sense of community spirit, owner/operators Richard and Jane Jacobsen are launching a new fund. It’s aimed at local individuals, schools or organisations needing financial support and each month $200-$500 will be donated to one or more recipients.