Thursday, February 09, 2012

Pressured consumers hunt bargains

People are on the hunt for a bargain as everyday living costs continue to rise.

Whangarei Pak ‘n Save has seen about 1000 extra costumers come through its doors each week, compared to a few months ago.

"Everyone is looking for a bargain," says Rodney Chang, Whangarei Pak ‘n Save owner. "We are known as being cheaper then others, so that is bringing in more people."

Mr Chang says two weeks ago the store had a sale on cheese which was more popular then ever.

"We haven’t seen a rise in customer numbers like this in a long time."

He says in previous years, the store had a drop in customer numbers when other supermarkets opened up in Whangarei.

Mr Chang has not seen a change in the brands people have been buying, like stores in the South Island, but he has seen people stocking up for the month rather than going in each week.

North Haven Hospice store Allsortz on James St, which sells pre-loved clothing and furniture, has also seen a rise in customer numbers.

"More people are buying, we are very well supported by the community," says Kathy McMillan from Allsortz.

She says the shop is getting more new customers to the store than ever before who are looking for a bargain.

People are donating to the store just as much as ever but the number of people asking for the donated items to be picked up has also risen with the rise in fuel.

"We will be increasing the number of days we pick up from three to four soon," says Ms McMillan.

Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Jeff Smith says stores need to keep being proactive to draw customers in during this unstable financial period.

"There is a lot of news about a recession. We are telling people to keep marketing and keep trying to do something different than others," says Mr Smith. "It is going to get better in time."

He suggests if stores are struggling to keep marketing going while the times get tough, they should hire a business coach for advice on how to put their resources in the right place.

Mr Smith says Whangarei stores are generally smart sellers and he believes most will get through the rocky time.

- © Fairfax NZ News Last updated 13:21 14/07/2008

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