Bay Chronicle : September 18th 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014 YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Countdown closes Rival food company moving in By JENNY LING COUNTDOWN supermarket in Paihia is scrambling to relocate staff and redistribute food after a lease dispute forced it to close. A Countdown spokesperson says staff are emptying stock from the Black Bridge Rd store this week after a ‘‘lengthy negotiation with its landlord and a court decision’’ that shut it down on September 10. Most food products will be distrib- uted to other Countdown stores and some will be donated to food banks, she says. ‘‘We’ve fought really hard to try to stay. ‘‘Unfortunately the outcome has been we’ve not been able to do that because of the court decision.’’ Building landlord Ian Blakeman says the supermarket will be replaced by a rival Foodstuffs outlet. The Kerikeri resident owns the building on land leased from the Te Tii (Waitangi) B3 Trust. ‘‘Foodstuffs is going in there as soon as possible,’’ he says. Foodstuffs is the company behind brands including Pak ’n Save, Four Square and New World. ‘‘Given the closure of Countdown we are looking into what opportunities may be available for our brands in Paihia, and this includes talking to the landlords of the Black Bridge Rd site,’’ Foodstuffs North Island property development general manager Angela Bull says. Countdown, owned by Progress- ive Enterprises, held the lease in Paihia for 13 years and employed 40 fulltime and part-time staff. Managing director Dave Chambers says the company is working to identify team members who can work at its supermarkets in Kerikeri and Kaikohe. Some may be transferred to the smaller Countdown Paihia Central shop on Williams Rd and the company says there will be no job losses. Paihia to Kerikeri is 22km and it is 32km to Kaikohe. Shut down: The Countdown store in Paihia has closed after a court decision. Countdown was told it would have to leave when its lease expired in August. Progressive Enterprises fought to stay and Blakeman took the matter to the Auckland High Court. The court ruled in his favour. ‘‘Despite a long negotiation and our strong desire to continue to provide the people of Paihia with their only full-service supermarket, we’ve been asked to stop trading immediately,’’ Chambers says. ‘‘We are very sorry that it’s had to come to this, for our team, the community and our customers.’’ The former Paihia fire station was converted into Countdown’s small format shop on Williams Rd in August as back-up because the supermarket could not secure the lease on its bigger store. It is leased from Far North Holdings. Foodstuffs is cashing in on the closure. New World Kerikeri will be pro- viding a free bus service from Paihia to New World Kerikeri to ‘‘help customers with all of their Barry Nielson, Paihia There’s been a lot of rumours. It’s definitely a loss for the town. We’ve got the Four Square and smaller Countdown, but they’re just large dairies. I’ll probably go to Kerikeri now. The real loss is going into summer, especially with the peak tourist season. WHATYOUTHINK: Carol Crosbie, Paihia It’s a bit of a shame. I’ll still shop at Four Square, but I’ll have to go to Kerikeri. supermarket shopping needs’’, Bull says. ‘‘Foodstuffs is aware of the sud- den closure of Countdown Paihia and we appreciate customers may now be wondering how their fresh Steve Griffiths, Paihia Terrible. It happened instantly. I’ll probably shop at the little Countdown up the road. It must be pretty hard on the Four Square. food and grocery needs will be met.’’ The bus leaves Kings Rd, the Maritime building and TeKemara Ave between 10am and 10.10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It returns at 12.30pm. Get a smile you’ll be proud of! • No metal braces – 6 Month Smiles uses clear braces • Treatment may take as little as 6 months • Flexible payment options • Dr Simon Leith offers a range of corrective dental treatments FOR A FREE CONSULTATION* CALL 0800 6 MONTHS * Some conditions apply Dr Simon Leith www.kerikeridentalcentre.co.nz before after Tainui Oneroa, Waitangi I think it’s pretty bad, that’s our only source of food. We’ve got no car or anything. The way they went about it is pretty bad too. We’ll probably have to walk into town for the other Countdown. ❚ Countdown is offering free online delivery or free Click and Collect to Paihia customers. Enter the keyword Paihia at the checkout. Go to the website countdown.co.nz.
September 11th 2014