Diving store finally takes the plunge
"Learning programmes to instructor level."JOHN ANTHONY
Following the resounding success of its two previous pop-up shops Dive HQ has set up a permanent store in New Plymouth.
Director Tim Horgan said Dive HQ had been investigating the opportunity for a store in Taranaki for the past five years.
Two weekends ago it finally made the jump and opened a permanent shop on Devon Rd, run by Sam Horgan and supported by shareholder and Taranaki rugby prop Shane Cleaver.
Sam Horgan's father Tim Horgan has owned Dive HQ in Palmerston North since 1992.
He is chairman of Dive HQ Trust Group and a shareholder and director of the company.
The diving and water sports equipment franchise has 12 stores nationwide.
Tim Horgan said the Dive HQ franchise was in a growth stage and was looking for new members.
"We've been trying out the Taranaki region for the last two and a half years," Horgan said.
They had tested the waters in Taranaki previously with two temporary stores in New Plymouth, both of which were a huge success, he said.
Divers and customers had been telling them to set up a permanent store in Taranaki for some time, he said.
"Now we've made the investment."
Dive HQ had identified opportunities in the retail market, he said.
"Now we can compete with our prices directly with any importer nationally or internationally."
The price of dive gear had dropped about 30 per cent from what it was two years ago, he said.
Dive HQ offered complete scuba kits starting at $999.
Dive HQ would also provide a dive training service for people wanting to get their diving certificate.
"We can train people from learning programmes right through to instructor level."
There were thousands of divers in the Taranaki region and Dive HQ was hoping to work closely with diving and underwater clubs.
Customers had been telling Dive HQ it was taking them as long as 12 months to get certified in Taranaki: "That won't happen with us, we guarantee."
Dive HQ could get people fully certified within a month at a cost of $550 which included hireage.
Because weather conditions sometimes made diving in Taranaki unsafe and impractical, Dive HQ would offer diving and hunting trips to the other parts of New Zealand and overseas.
The owners were pleased with the store's Devon Rd site because it had high traffic flow, reasonable parking and was next door to Taranaki Canoe and Kayak, which complimented Dive HQ nicely.
Dive HQ was also a water sports store offering a range of more than 50 wetsuits as well as wake boarding and water skiing gear.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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