A move sets the chain reaction among South Island supermarket owners

When Timaru supermarket owners Jason and Jo Williams decided to move to Christchurch it started with a chain reaction across the South Island.

The couple, after 13 years at Pak ‘n Save Timaru, moved to Pak‘ n Save Moorhouse, looking for new opportunities in the Foodstuffs network of supermarkets.

With the couple moving, New World Timaru owners Caroline and Jason Hall took the opportunity to move into ownership of Pak ‘n Save, which replaced Williams.

Halls moved across town towards Pak ‘n Save and then had effects on Wanaka as New World owners Justin and Jos Purcell decided to move north, taking the reins to Highfield Timaru.

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The next town affected was Waimate as the opportunity to have a business in the alpine splendor of Central Otago proved irresistible for New World owners Stuart and Jacqui Hore as they headed to Wanaka.

In Blenheim, Tommy Glubb and Casey Hilton-Prior were looking for an increase in supermarket stair ownership and they took the opportunity, packing their bags and leaving Four Square Spring Creek for New World Waimate.

Their departure gave Sam and Billi Richmond the opportunity to join Foodstuffs as newlyweds, and they took over at Four Square Spring Creek.

Jos and Justin and Jos Purcell move from Wanaka to Timaru’s New World.

Valentina Bellomo / Stuff

Jos and Justin and Jos Purcell move from Wanaka to Timaru’s New World.

Caroline Hall said they are having a hard time leaving Highfield New World after more than 11 years.

“We were really excited to be there and had great staff and customer bases. It was very difficult, but it was a new challenge and the opportunity came.”

Caroline Hall has a long association with the industry. His father Howard Smith started a Timaru dairy in the 1970s and ended up owning a New World supermarket.

“He’s a great mentor and an amazing workaholic. He’s practical in his advice; he’s always been a focused person.”

Hall attended the University of Canterbury and worked for Watties Heinz in Auckland before entering the industry at New World Waimate with his wife.

“Living in Auckland and working with corporates is very intense. Timaru is more family friendly.”

He said running a supermarket is difficult but rewarding.

“When you get the systems right in place it’s not too difficult, and we have great people helping. It’s a team effort.”

Highfield New World is expanding its car park.

Valentina Bellomo / Stuff

Broadfield New World is expanding its car park.

Purcells helped open Pak ‘N Save Wainoni in 2006 after specializing in supply prior to that time.

“We’ve been in Wainoni for six years with the desire to have a business.

“We moved to New World Stanmore in 2012 which is right in the heart of Christchurch which was affected by the earthquakes. We are excited to get the chance to start our career and get a foot in the door. We have to go through repairs.”

Two years ago the Purcells moved to New World Wanaka which proved to be a case of going from earthquakes to Covid-19.

“International tourism has been a hit, but we are happily surprised at the support of New Zealand visitors and locals.

“It’s a great place to live and work and is also appreciated by the staff. The quality and diverse nature of the staff is amazing. You get people with tremendous life experience.”

The opportunity resumed for the Purcells to leave Wanaka for Timaru.

“Highfield New World is an amazing solid store. It has a great feel to it. We’re excited.”

Steve Anderson, CEO of Foodstuffs South Island, said the company has a value system for its owner operators that has four social commitments: ensuring New Zealanders have access to healthy and affordable food, creating meaningful employment, being a leader in sustainability, and supporting local communities.

“It’s incredibly important that all of our owner operators hold these same values, and when individuals apply to take over a store, each goes through a rigorous process to ensure they have the right character and skill-set that fits within our company culture. ”

He said when interviewing potential company owners the company looked for individuals who worked in its stores in a variety of roles.

“It gives them a good understanding of our business operations and how we operate on a day-to-day basis. Once approved as an owner, the individual can purchase one of our smaller ones. store, often a Four Frame or a smaller New World.

“By starting with our owners in a smaller, more established store they will learn the basics of how to run a successful supermarket.”

He said some owners started with a Four Frame and ended up moving to a New World or Pak ‘n Save, and joined the board of Foodstuffs South Island.

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