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Supermarket owner says ‘it just had to be done’

Pak’nSave owner Andrew Summerville in front of the shelter already being used on Wednesday afternoon. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

Lockdown brings out ‘worst and best’

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Pak’nSave Masterton is living up to its name.

A shelter is being erected outside its supermarket to pack in up to 100 customers, saving them from the elements – at a social distance of course.

After looking out on the morning rain, Masterton Pak’nSave owner Andrew Summerville called his gym buddy and builder Luke Wilson on Wednesday to discuss the problem of valued, queuing customers getting drenched during the covid-19 crisis.

Soon after, Mitre 10 Mega had building supplies delivered to Pak’nSave and the LW and Co Building team had started constructing a sheltered pathway to the front of the store.

The materials came after morning tea and builders started the job just after lunch.

It was to have been completed yesterday.

The sheltered pathway runs 50 metres down the Chapel St side of the supermarket and 20m across the front to the entrance.

It is temporary and its covering is just building paper staple-gunned and strapped on in places.

Summerville was concerned about protecting customers from the rain, particularly the elderly or disabled.

“We are just trying to come up with a solution to things during this lockdown,” he said.

“We are asking elderly to come to the front of the line if they are not coping, we don’t want people suffering – it goes against the grain

“I don’t know the cost, it just had to be done.”

The required covid-19, two-metre spacing between customers is marked out and, if necessary, people can stand abreast and still be 2m apart.

Inside the store, Summerville and his wife Natalie are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe to “get out of this lockdown as soon as we can”.

He said it was unnatural for them as owners to have their staff not interacting as usual with customers.

The “new normal” involves staff instructing customers to keep back until called and telling customers where to stand.

“This is the opposite of what we have been doing for so long as we don’t want to boss people around, but we must all be kept safe and be safe,” Summerville said.

“I have seen the worst and the best of people over these weeks.

“Some can’t handle being told what to do but most are being fantastic. We want this to finish too.”

Pakn’Save security guard David Hargood said people had been prepared to stand in the rain as they waited to enter the supermarket but the shelter would work really well.

On another happy note, Summerville said the Easter Bunny has had to deliver an extra truckload of eggs this year. With The Warehouse closed, Pak’nSave is looking to have a very busy Easter.


  1. Andrew and Natalie

    Fantastic job done your shop would be our shop forever if we were living in masterton.???

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