Does it matter where you buy your groceries?

When we moved to Kerikeri there was only really one supermarket. ‘New World’ – a New Zealand supermarket. We are there, probably, three or four times a week because it’s just across town. Three minutes drive. We’ve made some good friends at New World. You always end up seeing people you know there, and the boring act of shopping becomes a social event.

But now we have a Countdown. We can almost see it from where we live. It’s REALLY close. We can walk there. Here it is, all brand new and shiny. But there’s a problem…

Countdown, so our lovely elderly neighbour tells us, is Australian. “I won’t be going there,” she announced. And for a woman who’s just had a hip replacement, to bypass the nearest supermarket for one across town is a big deal. I admire her resolve. It’s so convenient to take the easy option, but she is determined to drive right past Countdown to support New World, and many people in Kerikeri think the same way.

On opening day the car park was full by 9 a.m. We waited and went three days later. It was impressive. They have everything New World has and more. Their prices are lower on some things, around the same on others.

But… it’s kind of cold. Everyone is friendly, but air-hostess-friendly. And we didn’t see a single person we knew. We came out with everything we wanted, and perhaps a smaller bill too, but also with an empty feeling – the emptiness I used to get from the big anonymous UK supermarkets.

So, come on, New World. Bait your hooks with plenty of that warm, cosy feeling, and reel those straying customers back in. I know you can do it.

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One comment

  1. You’re so right. I left Countdown with the same feeling. Could be a familiarity thing, but New World is nearer to me anyway, so I’ll probably stick with it.

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