Rival stores feel the pinch
Small convenience stores in Palmerston North's Kelvin Grove suburb have felt the pinch since a supermarket was opened in their patch, but are banking on small sales and fast service to keep the tills ticking over.
Countdown supermarket, on the corner of Fernlea Ave and Roberts Line, opened two weeks ago.
Kelvin Grove Mini Market owner Linda Yang said she had been cutting prices to try to retain customers before the supermarket opened.
While it was hard for her to calculate how much the added competition had cost her, she said there had been a noticeable drop in sales.
"Of course we have lost some people, but it has been OK.''
Mrs Yang said people were naturally going to head to the new store for a look, but was banking on customers heading back to her Rhodes Dr store.
"I hope some customers will come back after maybe four weeks.''
People were still coming in for the smaller purchases, including milk and snack foods, she said.
Kaimanawa Four Square manager Manoj Patel said things slowed down in the first week, but quickly got back to near where they were.
"It was a little bit slower, but we're still alright.''
While a supermarket and a convenience store may sell the same products, they offered a different service, he said.
"Supermarkets are for going through, looking around at the products and getting in a queue.
"We have got a fastline system for people who want one or two things.
"We are here for them to buy one loaf of bread, or a bottle of milk, or some chips.''
The new supermarket employs about 130 people, including 27 staff who have transferred from other Manawatu Countdowns.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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