11 new supermarkets coming to Wellington

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
CONSUMER AFFAIRS, AND ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS REPORTER
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2012
New New World Metro
Fairfax NZ

WHAT'S IN STORE: Supermarket developments include Countdowns in Tawa, Newtown and Petone, and a New World in Tawa and a New World Metro [pictured] on the corner of Ghuzee and Leeds streets.

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Wellington has 11 new supermarkets in the pipeline - but there's still room for more and customers would benefit from the competition, a retail analyst says.

Foodstuffs Wellington has at least seven new New World stores at various stages of development, including one in Newlands opening next month, and a redeveloped Tawa store opening in September.

Progressive Enterprises has four Countdown stores in the pipeline, with one in Newtown opening in December.

But New Zealand as a whole was "nowhere close to having too many supermarkets", Coriolis analyst Tim Morris said. "Not even within spitting distance."

The two big rivals' dominance in the Wellington region made it about the most consolidated market in the world, and the city could do with more varied competition.

"There are two big players slugging it out on the battleground."

They were fighting for whichever sites came available, because if they didn't, the other would gain an advantage. "You can have more supermarkets but it means they just get a thinner slice of the pie."

Foodstuffs Wellington property and development general manager Marty Price said replacement stores in Silverstream and Whitby would be completed by June and Christmas 2013 respectively. Kapiti New World would open in Paraparaumu in time for Christmas 2013.

Foundations for a Mt Cook store had not yet been laid, while a Metro store "styled specifically to meet the needs of the urban shopper" would open in Ghuznee St in March 2014.

Countdown property general manager Adrian Walker said the construction of the Newtown store was on track.

A crane that had been working on the site on the corner of John and Riddiford streets had to be removed over the weekend, closing part of Hanson St until Sunday afternoon.

It meant the main building structure had been put in place and work would begin on external and internal facades, Mr Walker said.

"We hope to be on track for our target completion date of December 2012."

Construction work on a Petone store was underway and expected to be completed by mid-2013. Foundations were being laid in the chain's Tawa supermarket, with completion expected in early 2013, and tenders were also out to refurbish Countdown Johnsonville.

FOOD FACTS

Kiwis spent $17.4 billion at supermarkets in 2011, up 7.3 per cent on the previous year.

Australian-owned Progressive Enterprises owns Countdown and recently phased out the Woolworths brand.

Foodstuffs has New World, Pak 'n Save and 4 Square supermarkets.

Foodstuffs has 60 per cent of the market.

Progressive is building four new Countdown stores around Wellington, while Foodstuffs is building seven more New Worlds.

Contact Jody O'Callaghan
Consumer affairs, and Attractions and Events reporter
Email: jody.o'callaghan@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @miss_jodyo

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- The Dominion Post

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