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Warehouse pop-up store ‘doesn’t fit’ Greytown

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

The Warehouse is opening up shop in Greytown tomorrow, where it will stay put for the summer holidays.

But while the new pop-up store is hoped to be a “drawcard” for local shoppers, the concept has already copped some funny looks from locals, with residents and retailers saying the brand just “doesn’t fit in”.

The pop-up store, located at the northern end of the town near The Grove & JT’s BBQ, will be stocked with seasonal goods like gardening products, camping gear, fans, and paddling pools and accessories.

The store says it will give South Wairarapa residents better access to Warehouse products without having to travel to Masterton.

Greytown Country Village Heaven campaign spokesperson Adam Blackwell said the chain store did not fit within the town’s branding of a “quality and distinctive shopping destination”.

“Part of the unique character of Greytown is the fact that it’s a boutique shopping experience for mainly independent retailers,” he said.

“That is what we’ve based the brand on, and that is what our customers visiting Greytown expect it to be.”

He said “big box stores” like The Warehouse did not fit that criteria, and were “not really a part of the Greytown experience”.

“It’s up to anybody to decide where and how they want to shop, I just want to reiterate that big national retail brands are not part of the Greytown boutique shopping experience.”

Mr Blackwell, along with other business owners and residents, was not aware of the chain store’s arrival in town.

“What on earth?” one long-term resident said when she found out.

“There’s only a little over 2000 people in Greytown, and a lot of people who move here do it to get away from that kind of crap,” said the woman, who did not wish to be named.

Other residents were concerned that the pop-up store would be detrimental to small town business, especially gardening or homeware stores.

But Craig Thornburn of Grand Illusions homewares and garden shop said he was “not at all concerned” with any impacts the store opening may have on his business.

“I have no problem at all with The Warehouse coming here,” he said.

“My products that I sell here are personalised and exclusive, appealing mostly to Wellingtonians and people from Hawke’s Bay.

“If these people want to buy Warehouse-quality products, they won’t come to Greytown for it, they’ll buy it from home.

“People come to Greytown because we’re mostly independent retailers who sell products that you simply can’t get anywhere else.

“If it was another boutique garden store, I’d be annoyed, but this, I have no problem with.”

A spokesperson from The Warehouse said Greytown was chosen as a pop-up store location because “many visitors were attracted to Greytown and its surrounding area over the summer months”.

“Pop-up stores are something we look at opportunities for on an ongoing basis, season by season.

“In other locations where we’ve opened pop-up stores we’ve had really positive feedback from the community. “We’re hoping the pop-up store will be a draw card for local shoppers and complement existing retail businesses in the area.”

The pop-up store will offer a ‘click and collect’ service, where customers can access products online for pickup at Greytown.

Two team members have shifted from part time to full time roles for the opening of the store.

The store will remain open until January 2.


  1. Wow Times Age, did you interview any normal locals, or just snobby business owners who cater only for the Welly Weekend Warriors?
    I’ve lived in South Wairarapa for 11 years (Greytown for 3) and have barely set foot in any of the shops here because they are overpriced and offer nothing practical for the locals. Most locals I know feel the same.
    We have nothing that stocks office supplies, books, electrical goods, normal gardening supplies, hardware, videos, toys, normal kids clothing, baby gear, footwear, sporting goods…the list goes on. We also have no bank or barber and I’m amazed we still have a butchery and a chemist.
    As a footnote, the Swan dropped Heineken, a travesty in itself and the epitome of not catering for the locals.
    Long live the Warehouse pop up shop!

  2. ‘it will give South Wairarapa residents better access to Warehouse products without having to travel to Masterton’ so why not chose the town that has the furtherest to travel to host pop up shop and a town that will appreciate it!?? Help Featherston grow, after all It’s the first stop off the hill and also catches traffic going to Martinborough.

  3. Mr Blackwell should get off his bike and focus his “Country Village Heaven” on the preservation of Main Street against the attempts by SWDC/ Bad Choice grocery to stuff it even more than it is

  4. I have been into the store today and was impressed i dont have a problem with it coming to town.all i can say to the complainers among us ,you dont have to shop there,get over yourselves

  5. Great idea. We need something for the locals – getting little things is hard in Greytown – either have to go to Masterton or down to Martinborough Mitre 10. Also be good for the holiday season. Come on Greytowm embrace diversity!!

  6. I thought the Greytown Village short promotional movie was brilliant a few months back but now, how about a short film about two modest local bicycles on a budget shopping day in Greytown Village?

  7. Called in today great to
    Have a look around nice for locals to be able to get good plants and accessories at reasonable prices in town everyday gardening stuff

  8. Has Adam Blackwell not noticed that gentrified Greytown has ‘local residents’ who lead ordinary lives on ordinary budgets (some just a pension) like most ordinary kiwis.
    I’ll be popping down to Warehouse for weekend garden stuff. – they have 5 x 30L bags of Kiwi Garden Booster for $20. Add to that the fabulous garden products that Lions Club of Greytown sell to fund-raise and deliver free of charge to the doorstep. Neither of those I imagine belong to ‘Greytown Country Village Heaven’, the elite retail/tourism organisation that charges high fees to join? Greytown is not only about tourists…

  9. No issue about having this pop-up store in Greytown as such, but it seems a strange choice. It is too far out of the village to be easy to walk to when visiting other shops and if Warehouse shopping is required it seems easier to go into Masterton where the store is bigger. Will they have any specials? However maybe useful to pop-in after a session at the gym!!

  10. who the hell does Adam Blackwell think he is?!? Born and bred here in Greytown, we didn’t want these ’boutique’ stores and real Greytown people don’t shop in our own town because of the over priced so called boutique stores all lining the main street! Who buys their wares? Not the locals I can tell ya! We’ve put up with these retailers over the years and good on the Warehouse, I hope they do well! You are definitely not speaking for all who live in Greytown Mr Blackwell!

  11. How snobby can you get! We have not always been a “country village.” We used to be a town! I think it’s a great idea. It’s not right in the middle of town and it has good parking.

  12. personally, i think its a great idea. not everyone from the south wairarapa wants to travel to masterton to go to warehouse. just like a lot of people cant afford all of the expensive boutiques greytown is filled with. (i feel like greytown is targeting tourists/wellingotnians and forgetting the locals)

    and isn’t the warehouse being placed on the outskirts of town? surely its not going to distract from all the fancy shops lol.

    also, the shop is temporary. it’ll be gone after christmas. calm down.

  13. Get over yourselves greytown people. Not everyone lives in million dollar houses and have independent means. Some people need outlets Like this

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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