Big changes have been happening in supermarket ownership in Stratford and Hawera.
Hawera's $18 million Pak 'n Save has already been sold, only seven months after it opened last December.
For a few months this supermarket's petrol station had the cheapest retail prices in the country: 21c a litre discount if you bought $40 worth of groceries.
In Stratford, New World has been bought by former Oakura Four Square owners Jimmy and Jackie Lim.
The Kovaleski family operated Pak 'n Save, after selling their Hawera New World operation to Rachel and Mike Clayton, the former Write Price operators.
The Kovaleskis have sold out to Peter Arthur, who has appointed Kevin Jones as manager. He says he intends to sell the business to him eventually, "... provided he performs."
Palmerston North-based Mr Arthur says he had a call from the Foodstuffs Group after managing director Tony Kovaleski announced the store was for sale.
Mr Arthur does not envisage an early return to the big petrol discounts of the brief Kovaleski era.
"In this game things change from day to day and it depends what the competition is doing, but we won't be giving it away, that's for sure," he says.
Mr Kovaleski and his wife, Sam, have bought a beachfront home at Paraparaumu and are looking at business opportunities in the greater Wellington area. He declined to say why they decided to sell.
Mr Arthur's entry into the grocery business began when he worked as a schoolboy at the Ngaere Store, which his parents owned. He was the fourth generation of the family in that store.
Here is the sequence of events since then, as described by Mr Arthur. "In 1977 I left school and we bought the old Stratford New World from John Hedditch. In 1986 we bought the old Hawera New World and two years later built a new store on the same site. In 1991-92 my father and myself rebuilt the Stratford New World. In 1998 the Kovaleskis bought Hawera New World and I bought the Palmerston North Pak 'n Save, which I still own.
"In 2000 my brother John bought my interest in Stratford New World and later became the sole owner when our father died."
John Arthur has sold out to Jimmy and Jackie Lim. Mr Lim was born in Stratford in 1944 to Chinese immigrant parents. They started a fruit and vegetable shop which stayed in family ownership through to 2005, when it was closed on the retirement of his brother, Kevin.
In 1994 Mr and Mrs Lim left Stratford and bought the Oakura Four Square, which they sold in May this year to buy the New World business. Mr Lim says his son and son-in-law are also involved in the business and it will provide careers for their children.
"Foodstuffs will be enlarging the carpark and improving access this year and two years further out they plan to enlarge the store," he says.