Following a two-year rebuild, PAK’nSAVE Henderson has officially opened its doors, providing essential grocery items and a safe place to shop for its West Auckland community during Alert Level Four.
PAK’nSAVE Henderson is New Zealand’s second supermarket to open during lockdown, following New World Ravenswood last month.
As the second oldest PAK’nSAVE in New Zealand, the new store, located on the same site, closed in October 2019 after 34 years of operating. The brand-new bigger store has scaled up and is now twice the size of the previous store and the team of 130 is raring to go. The rebuild allowed for the inclusion of more sustainable equipment, such as closed-door chillers, which create more efficient use of power. The store’s larger footprint means more shelves can be stocked full of goods, while online shopping will be up and running in the coming weeks.
Opening a supermarket during lockdown is no mean feat, and there were a few weeks where construction was halted and there were delays with equipment coming into the country.
“It’s a great achievement and a privilege to be able to open the doors of PAK’nSAVE Henderson in the middle of a pandemic and the restrictions that come with that,” said Lindsay Rowles, General Manager of Membership and Property at Foodstuffs North Island. “We’ve been working closely with MBIE and other authorities to ensure the store’s opening adheres to the Alert Level Four conditions and is a safe shopping environment for people to purchase their essential groceries.”
While there will be no ribbon cutting or opening ceremony – which are normal celebrations for new stores opening under usual conditions – PAK’nSAVE Henderson’s owner Rayner Bonnington is excited to open as an essential service for the West Auckland community.
“We’re thrilled to be able to open our shiny new doors as an essential service and be here for our community under the current restrictions,” said Bonnington. “We closed the old store months before the arrival of Covid-19 and we’re now re-opening in an environment that has totally changed the ways our team members work and our community shops.”
Bonnington started his career in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and trained as a chef, before joining Foodstuffs in 1998 as an Assistant Grocery Manager at New World Te Puke. He later became store manager at PAK’nSAVE Rotorua, before becoming the owner of New World Turangi in 2006, and then taking on PAK’nSAVE Henderson in September 2012. Bonnington worked at the Foodstuffs North Island Support Centre while the store was being rebuilt.
“It’s a challenging time for New Zealanders but it’s great to be able to welcome people back into the store and be there for our community,” continued Bonnington. “We’re excited to see both familiar and new faces – even though they’ll be behind masks for the moment.”