Timaru store opening!

Welcome everyone. Recently, we opened our latest new shop, in Timaru!

Timaru is a historic port city in South Canterbury, about two hours drive south of Christchurch. It’s a vibrant community and the focus of a fertile agricultural area, and like many regional centres in NZ, the locals’ taste in food is diversifying. It made perfect sense as a new shop location, and our location – in a new retail development on the old showgrounds site alongside State Highway 1 – provides plenty of foot traffic and passing trade.

All of this means the shop has been busy from day one!

New shop partner Danny Chen reflected positively on the opening, saying that

“I’m so happy to be here in Timaru. I’ve been with St. Pierre’s for more than 15 years, working at various shops around Auckland such as Pakuranga, Manukau, Newmarket before I became the Albany partner. I liked living in Auckland so it was a big change to come here – but really worth it! It has been such a great ride so far.

The new shop has been so busy, the main challenges have been building a strong team while also keeping up with demand. We sold as much on the first day as we did some weeks in Albany!

Customers have been really glad to see us open and our staff have worked hard to learn fast. I really appreciate the help we’ve had opening the shop. Two area managers (Kazuyo and Mandy), two shop partners (Yoshi, Phillip), several managers (Bambang, Kei, Toshi and Yasu) plus lots of experienced staff came from Christchurch, Ashburton and even Auckland for the first couple of weeks.

I thought maybe I had asked for too much help – but we needed it! Plus their experience really helped in training our new staff, who are fast learners, so as a team we’re improving every day. It has been hard work so far, but through a real team effort the shop has run smoothly and customers are happy, which is what’s most important.”

Director Nick Katsoulis was very happy at the successful opening, commenting that

“The store has been so busy, the opening has beyond belief. The successful opening in Ruakura set high expectations, but the amazing customer response in Timaru on opening day saw sales beat the Ruakura record by 50%! And sales have stayed at a very strong level in the weeks since, justifying the effort Danny and his team have put in.

Timaru is a vibrant small city with a strong community that responds positively to new developments, including St. Pierre’s. Partner selection was challenging, as the city of Timaru was off the radar for many St. Pierre’s staff. We promoted the opportunity internally, and Danny – an existing successful partner – saw the strength of the opportunity and took it.

We’ve also had lots of brilliant job applicants, so we were very fortunate to have a strong team from day one. We’re pleased to be open and offering quick, fresh, healthier choices to everyone in and passing through South Canterbury. A big congratulations to the grand opening team and all the best to the new members.”

Nick firing up the crowd with his traditional speech!
A big queue waited expectantly for the giveaway!

General Manager of Property Oliver Shaw spoke highly of the new shop, commenting that

“We’re thrilled with the new shop. It’s a modern, inviting space, exemplifying our new design language and making customers instantly aware they’re in a St. Pierre’s shop, even if they couldn’t see our iconic signage.

It’s also in a fantastic location. It has strong local traffic from the Countdown and Bunnings and new suburbs, plus a lot of through traffic on the main road, particularly at busy holiday times. Above all we’ve had a lot of locals asking when we’re opening here, and true to their word, they’re flocking here. This shop will be busy all day, every day, I’m sure of it!”

A full sushi fridge ready for the big opening!

We believe that the Timaru shop is already a landmark in this growing area. The new shop is another big milestone for the company, so if you’re staying in South Canterbury or just passing through, do stop by and see Danny and his team – see you there soon!

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