For Hamish Townshend and Hannah Millow, taking over the ownership reins of Four Square Molesworth located at Mangawhai Heads, and adjusting operations due to COVID-19, has been no small feat. The couple moved to Mangawhai Heads in late 2019 before coming on as store owners at the end of January this year.
When taking over Four Square Molesworth, the couple never dreamed they would be in the position they are now of leading and providing for their community. "The past couple of weeks have been incredibly challenging. We’ve had to learn the ropes of owning our first store and getting to know the needs of our local community, as well as leading and supporting our team through the Alert levels. However, the support from our local community has been amazing and incredibly uplifting. We are humbled to have their support as we get through this uncertain time together," said store owner Hamish Townshend.
Over the past month, the store’s team of 26 employees expanded their operations to meet customer demand and have now grown to a team of 34. The store has seen trade grow by two to three times the normal, with the community staying within their bubbles and shopping locally at the store. To help those considered vulnerable and in quarantine, the team have upscaled their offering to include online shopping. Customers can fill out an order form online and either collect their groceries in store or have them delivered free of charge. The online offering is available Tuesday-Saturday with orders being turned around in 24 hours.
“Adding online shopping for our customers was a no brainer for us,” said Townshend. “Our customers want convenience so they can stay local, shop and support us as local business owners. We’ve all adjusted to the new normal of staying in our bubbles and keeping safe at home, and online shopping is a perfect solution to help our customers do just that.”
Customers have grown accustomed to the protective measures in store including hand sanitiser placed around the shop, increased cleaning of high touch areas, protective screens at checkout, two metre distancing lines around checkouts, staff sanitising trolleys after each use and limited numbers in-store. The protective measures are also in place throughout the delivery process – including maintaining the two-metre physical distance during delivery and in-store pick-up.
“We owe everything to our staff who are working tirelessly support our customers and local community. We’re also grateful for our customers as they are the ones who keep us going.”