Franklin County News
Ahead of its grand opening on February 28, reporter Natalie Polley got an exclusive sneak peek at the brand new Pukekohe Farmers store with Farmers' chief executive and managing director Rod McDermott.
It has been highly anticipated by the people of Pukekohe for years but the new Farmers store on Edinburgh St is about to open.
The store has two levels of 3000sqm floor space, as well as undercover parking for 400 vehicles.
Farmers chief executive and managing director Rod McDermott said Farmers renovated or expanded about four stores a year but this was the first time the company had opened a new store since 2007.
"There are a total of 67 staff that have been employed for this store," said Mr McDermott.
"Our biggest store is 10,000sqm, the average-sized store is 5000sqm - so the Pukekohe store will be bigger than average."
Mr McDermott said the company decided to open in Pukekohe five years ago as it was at least a 30-minute drive for people living in Franklin to the nearest Farmers store at Papakura.
The development initially suffered delays since getting resource consent in September 2009 after two Pukekohe company directors filed Environment Court appeals opposing the consent approval.
"Aside from it being good for Farmers, it's going to be fabulous for the main street," said Mr McDermott. "Farmers will bring thousands of people a week into the Pukekohe area and it will revitalise the street."
Mr McDermott said the new store had been built to a similar specification as the Hastings store.
The bottom level will house cosmetics counters, fine fragrances, self-select cosmetics, women's clothing, lingerie and men's wear; while upstairs will have the children's and home sections.
Farmers will share the building with a Stevens store with a walk- through from the first level.
"The builders moved out about two weeks ago from doing the fit- out. (Store manager) Fiona has been assembling the fixtures for the last two weeks and stock started arriving a few days ago," said Mr McDermott.
Store manager Fiona Morfett said those keen to head along to the store on its opening day, February 28, could expect plenty of activities for the whole family.
"Loads of different activities are lined up for the opening event from 10am - face painting, balloons and fashion advice.
"There will, of course, be great savings and discounts."
Mr McDermott said the store opening specials would run over four days.
- © Fairfax NZ News