By Shelley Topp
Rangiora’s shopping centre is set for a big change with the arrival of three more corporate retailers late next year.
Homewares retail giant Briscoes will open a shop in a new $20 million complex planned by Canterbury Property Investments at the corner of High Street and East Belt in Rangiora.
Negotiations are still under way but they are likely to be joined there by pet supplies company Animates, Australian-owned automotive-supplies retailer Super Cheap Auto
and Warehouse Stationery, which will shift from its present premises across the road at 8/10 High Street.
One of the developers Craig Newbury said there was also space in the new development for three smaller retailers.
The NZX-listed Briscoe Group has more than 90 businesses nationwide trading via the Briscoes Homeware, Rebel Sport and Living and Giving store chains.
There were widespread rumours that Rebel Sport was also coming to Rangiora but a Briscoes spokesman has denied that.
However a young Loburn couple Brad and Alice Mackenzie are opening a Stirling Sports shop in the a building next to Devlin Real Estate in High Street.
One Rangiora retailer likely to be more adversely affected than most by the new development is Reid Caldwell, owner of Reid’s Super Cheap Auto Spares in High Street, next to the Rangiora War Memorial Cenotaph area.
Mr Caldwell’s company has been established in Rangiora for almost 20 years. His business has no connection with Super Cheap Auto, but he has known for the last three or four years that they intended setting up business in Rangiora.
“What will be, will be,” he said.
“They sell different stuff to us.
“We give our clients a personalised service based on years of experience working on cars.”
Mr Caldwell said his business had a loyal bunch of customers, including three generations from some families.
“We have our customer base, they have to build theirs,” he said
Rangiora had become known as a place where people liked to shop because of the relaxed pace of the town and the individual service they received from owner-operator business owners, he said.
This gave the town an important point of difference to the busy shopping malls. However, the arrival of the five new corporate retailers could change that.
“Long term I don’t think it will be good for small businesses,” he said.
Miles and Tracy Ashley, owners of The Feedshack in Rangiora and Bishopdale, said it was always difficult for a small business going up against a corporate with a massive advertising
spend dominating the market.
“However, we have grown from a one-and-a-half person store to an employer of six people, based on local support for quality, affordable products over an 8-year period.
“We carefully select our choice of products for our customers, based on our extensive research and understanding of quality-ingredient listings and results,” they said.
“We continue to support local events and donate to our supported charities and expand our shop for more choices in products and continue with knowledge and advice only available
from a reputable family-owned store.”