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Greytown is not a brand

By Seamus Boyer

[email protected]

There’s probably only one real indicator as to whether the Warehouse is good for Greytown or not – and that’s if people shop there.

There’s been some curious words being bandied about over the issue, which surfaced this week after news the retail giant would be opening a pop-up store just north of the town.

It seems while many residents are happy enough having the store on their doorstep, some of the established retailers are not.

Greytown Country Village Heaven campaign spokesman Adam Blackwell said the chain store did not fit within the town’s branding as 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”.

But what exactly is the Greytown experience?

And who said the town needed a brand?

Ask Greytown residents what makes their town special and you’re unlikely to hear that “It’s got plenty of distinct, independent retailers”.

They might say that it’s got a great school, sure.

Maybe that its sports clubs are welcoming and successful.

At the moment people might even say that property prices are booming.

Those things probably don’t add to the town’s brand, but they are what make a town really thrive for those who live there.

Not all retailers have bagged the Warehouse.

Sue Wright is one, and there will be others.

The 2 Short Whites owner said she was “terribly embarrassed” by the negative talk.

She was more than happy to shop at the Warehouse, where she picked up a couple of bargains this week.

Regardless of what some retailers or marketing people think, Greytown is not a brand.

What a soulless image that conjures up.

It is just a nice little town.

But if people’s primary concern there is to use the place to make a buck out of tourists, it may not remain a nice little town for long.

1 COMMENT

  1. You’re taking Adam’s comments completely out of context- he is a small business of owner in Greytown, so of course he wants to protect the wonderful tradition of small businesses in Greytown. Greytown absolutely has a brand and that is a very positive thing for the people who live, work and visit there- it’s something to be proud of, not something to fear.

    This whole editorial is just a transparent attempt to provoke some kind of silly class warfare.

    Adam for president. Make Greytown great again!

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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