By Emily Norman
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.