Rolling back the years – February 1997-2007

By Merv Robertson March 02, 2017 Rolling back the years

Want to know what was happening in your industry 10, 15 and 20 years ago? Wares can help as we look through what happened in these pages between 1997 and 2007. Merv Robertson reports.

To view a PDF of the complete profile as it appeared in Wares magazine, click the download button at the bottom of this page.

20 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 1997

OJ Simpson was nicknamed “The Juice” during his stellar career as a US professional footballer. In 1995 he was found not guilty of murdering his wife and her friend but in February 1997 in a civil lawsuit, a jury found him “responsible” for the deaths and the victims’ families were awarded US$32.5 million in damages. A decade later, Simpson would be convicted of multiple felonies and is currently in a Nevada jail.

Just a couple of days after the Simpson verdict our nation was shocked by what became known as the Raurimu massacre. Stephen Anderson, a man with a history of mental illness, killed six people including his father and was later found not guilty by reason of insanity.

In sport, England beat New Zealand in the second cricket test by an innings and 68 runs at the Basin Reserve.

 

It’s all about the people – It’s hard to believe we are into the 8th year of nostalgia via the series that started out in October 2009 with the first “Retail Icon” yarn in which we tracked the evolution of Leader & Watt and was followed in December that year by the commencement of “Where are they now?” when Ted Holland shared his impressive career path.

In fact, if you can put up with me long enough, we will hit the half century of “Where are they now?” personalities in December this year! But back to “Rolling back the years” – in 2017, we’ll put more emphasis on the people and the companies (which is what people really want) and less on the products.

 Several different types of sucker – In February 1997 Philips took the front cover for its new vacuums and told us that “30% more suction power” was coming our way. Now, if you have been a regular reader, you will know that unqualified claims in advertising – eg more than what? – really get me going, so we’ll move on…

At first look there is nothing unusual about an ad for Electrolux’s Swedish-designed, Australian-made Ingenio vacuum cleaners from 20 years ago. The clue is in the contact details at the bottom – back then, Electrolux floor care was distributed by Husqvarna Agencies and the brand had only been available in retail since April the previous year after having been sold exclusively by door-to-door commission salesmen for 70 years.

Robinson Industries too was in floor care news, introducing a display stand for its Moulinex and Hitachi cleaners.

 

More suckers? – The February 1997 Editorial looked at gambling and what it might mean for retailers. Stats showed that for each and every appliance, department, kitchen, audio and electronics store in the country, there were 10 Kiwis not spending in our industry because they were problem gamblers – some 20,000 in all.

The Minister of Internal Affairs had called for a Special Impact Report to which the Electronic Appliance Guild and the Merchants Association were keen to contribute.

Do times change or what? We now market a raft of smart devices which give immediate access to betting agencies here and all over the world, meaning that any of your customers can gamble 24/7 if they so choose.

They can place bets mere seconds before the gates open or a game starts. They can bet during the game and watch as it happens, how their investments shape up, or (more likely) ship out.

We sell the devices. We sell the connectivity packages. These sectors provide turnover but does that make us part of the problem? Not to forget Lotto and I’m told first hand that every time a huge Powerball draw is publicised, foot traffic in stores drops off markedly.

In May 2009 the Ministry of Health published the results of its latest survey on the subject and in short, around 13,100 Kiwis were seen as problem gamblers with a further 40,900 considered to be at moderate risk – combined, that’s 1.3% of the adult population.

 

GE forges ahead in Godzone – In 1997 it was reported that GE had intentions of becoming a major player in the New Zealand market and with this in mind, GE Appliances New Zealand was established, taking on the distribution itself from previous rep Robinson Industries.

Adopting the theme “Forging Ahead”, GE offered a full range of side-by-side laundry and refrigeration with dishwashers to follow soon after. Cooking appliances were planned later in 1997.

Tony Beale was Sales & Marketing Manager back then and Saxon Appliances was named as the Servicing Agent with 30 sub-agents spread nationwide. If anyone knows of Tony Beale’s current situation, I’d love to hear.

Way back on Waiheke – 20 years ago this month, we featured Poppelwells Retravision on Waiheke Island, which was owned by Ian and Gill Poppelwell. They had moved to Waiheke from the Rangitikei area on Labour Weekend 1971, the plan being for appliance technician Ian to work for the late Wes Burns who was the only retailer on the island.

That arrangement fell through so the couple hung a shingle over the gate of their new home and opened for business on their own account, Ian selling mainly Majestic TV sets with Gill looking after the accounts and managing the raising of a family.

In 1974 they bought a section in Oneroa’s shopping centre, opened a retail store and started selling colour TVs and Frigidaire whiteware before quickly switching to Fisher & Paykel.

Waiheke’s resident population was around 2,500 at the time (it was 8,900 two years ago), the Poppelwells observing that most were either retired people or hippies and a bach was just a bach, not a luxury holiday home…

Access to some remote homes was tough – Ian recalled delivering an 4ft3 Atlas fridge to a customer when he and Gill had to carry it the last 300 metres or so! The Poppelwells serviced everything they sold until closing the service department in 1995 and for several years TV rentals provided good cashflow.

Poppelwells was a foundation member of the RTS group, Appliance Court and in 1993 the business became Poppelwells Retravision when RTS secured a licence to operate the market-leading Australian Retravision brand in New Zealand.

At the time of publication, Ian and Gill had plans for retirement in around five years’ time and had recently been joined in the business by their son Damien, who had completed a business degree at Waikato University whilst working part time at Doug Morris Retravision in Huntly.

Damien stayed for around 18 months before setting out on his own career and he is now MD of Excellent Software Solutions.

Ian and Gill, these days in their mid-70s, still live on the island but back in 2003 sold the retail business to their niece Belinda Hill and her partner Ross Harre (tragically, Belinda died from breast cancer in 2014) and have commercial property interests as well as Te Huruhi Finance which, very uniquely, provides credit card facilities exclusively for Waiheke Island residents and merchants – and the card can also be used at Fullers and SeaLink depots.

And way back in Whangarei – Barrell’s 100% Your Electric Store in Whangarei was the subject of another Wares retail profile. In those days owned by Gary and Daphne Peterken, Barrell’s Radiovision had been a Whangarei landmark for 36 years, having been founded by Jack Barrell in 1958.

Bought by the Peterkens in 1984, they also opened a second store called Pacific Radiovision, both becoming members of RTS, and in 1992 Paul Edwards became a shareholder.

As the business moved forward there was a need for bigger premises, more product and diversification. So, around 1995, both Radiovision stores were closed and a move was made to a new commercial development on the city fringe on Okara Drive with The Warehouse as an immediate neighbour.

Gary Peterken said at the time: “It was a big move and a bit of a gamble but it has definitely paid off.” In fact Barrell’s 100% was thriving. Several large retailers had also set up in the destination shopping precinct and, with air conditioned shops and plenty of parking, customers were being drawn away from the town centre.

Two major changes were enabled by the move: joining the fledgling 100% Your Electric Store group, which was established in September 1994, replacing Fapay; and without the space restrictions of the old site, they could maximise the Fisher & Paykel connection by adding a substantial whiteware range.

From no whiteware in the city shops to a full selection of F&P stoves (complemented by Zanussi, Simpson and Scholtés cookware), refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and laundry was a monumental leap but one that indeed, saw Barrell’s “Taking on the Big Boys”, which was exactly the theme of the 100% conference the year before!

The Peterkens completed the sale of 100% Barrell’s to Paul Edwards and Peter Hill in 2011 and being able to change their lifestyle from the all-encompassing demands of retail allowed Gary and Daphne to pursue travel and other interests, one of which was the recently completed conversion of a two-storey central Auckland building which they purchased in 2012.

Now, what used to be home to the Cook Islands Consulate, offices and a restaurant is an inner city apartment for the Peterkens and a commercial unit which they lease out. At the same time, their Whangarei Heads property is now lovingly referred to as “the beach”.

 

When the word “Internet” had a capital “I” – 20 years is an eternity in retailing, let alone technology. To prove the point, a comprehensive article in Wares on electronic retailing – which was no doubt thought-provoking back then – these days can either be seen as prophetic or may simply raise a smile.

Let’s look at a few of the revelations contained in the article.

For starters it was predicted that by the year 2000, New Zealand e-retailing would be worth the equivalent of 1% of New Zealand’s GDP.

As our internet buying now embraces the world, it’s difficult to make a like for like comparison today. But, from information kindly provided by Madeleine Boles de Boer of Marketview, we can estimate that online spending to June last year was 7.8% of total retail including groceries and alcohol and the sum of around $3.5 billion is approximately 1.6% of GDP.

In 1997 the typical Kiwi internet user was profiled as mainly male, aged 25-37 and earning $47,000 a year ($69,000 today). A September 1996 survey showed we had something just in excess of 300,000 internet users and it was expected that by 1998/99, one million of us would access the net at least once a week.

20 years ago, in our article, Telecom Internet Services revealed an increasing trend of suppliers going direct to the end user through Xtra Shopping, which, it was said, was one of the emerging “Cybermalls”. This would cut out the middleperson altogether reckoned the article.

Bucking this trend, Group Rentals owner, David Gold, had by 1997 sold off all 33 stores but was doing business via an 0800 FreePhone number and a call centre staffed by 16 people, seven days a week.

Back then, Gold considered the internet simply too slow for his purposes – broadband would only become affordable in the early 2000s don’t forget! – but the 0800 telephone system would be easily transferred to an electronic system when the time was right.

He had another reason for holding off: “Of the 20% of homes with computers, only a fraction would be used by the decision-maker, who is usually a woman. Until we have a generation of kids who have grown up with computers and then become decision-makers, we won’t have mass acceptance of the internet,” he said at the time.

Still, 20 years ago, businesses were falling over themselves to be part of the world wide web, even if many found the process both complex and expensive.

Enter FaxMail, which had created a system whereby merchants could advertise on the internet and receive orders by fax. Sales Manager Russell Ferrier said this: “FaxMail allows companies to gauge the benefits of the internet without having to spend big bucks to find out. We’re saying, spend $25 a month and see what it does for you.”

The Warehouse decided to try FaxMail out and went online with 200+ products in its electronic catalogue. Faxed orders were received at a branch located in the now demolished Auckland Downtown Shopping Mall. A mail order system had been easily converted to “electronic shopping”.

Also in our 1997 article, Data Group’s Mark McGeachen was looking at how consumers would be interacting with dealers: “There is no reason why retailers can’t download supplier product information and pictures from a catalogue to an electronic kiosk located in the showroom for use by the customers,” he said.

Retailers could thus display a complete range of products but without a huge capital outlay or the space needed to display it all! Customers could even zap their credit card through a terminal and order product from the same kiosk!

With Amazon encroaching and its strategy of success through fulfilment at top of mind these days, our article 20 years ago concluded with the sage words: “Those who fail to add distribution technology into their sales and service mix could find that competing in the new millennium is a ‘virtual’ struggle”.

Big splash, short lifespan – The new arrival on the independent retailing scene, Tauranga’s Wilson & Choat Appliance World, was celebrated in our February 1997 edition. The Directors were John Wilson and Russell Choat, with Kelvin Elliffe as Manager.

The store’s big point of difference was that the majority of appliances displayed in the store on the corner of Cameron Road and Hamilton Street were fully functional and, although each brand had its own dedicated designer kitchen, there was no supplier branding in the store.

Wilson & Choat was already well-established as an appliance retailer and plumbing contractor in Te Puke but, with a large Mt Maunganui and Tauranga catchment, the firm believed there was a great opportunity for a specialist store in Tauranga.

I caught up with John Wilson recently. He was clearly saddened by the fact that, for a variety of reasons which don’t need airing here, he and Russell decided to close the doors just a handful of years later, in 1999.

John still owns Laser Plumbing in Te Puke whilst Russell has his own gas and plumbing business in Whangamata. I couldn’t locate Kelvin.

 

Movers & Shakers 20 years ago – Only Skope Industries provided movers & shakers, in the form of Stuart Murray and Brent Andrews. Skope was previously distributed by PDL but had set up in its own right to distribute direct. Stuart had come across from PDL as National Sales Manager Heating, a role in which he would work closely with Brent, who was Business Manager Heating.

Stuart is now General Manager Sales and Group Export Manager with Moffat in Christchurch, part of a leading global supplier of bakery and food service products and Brent is Chief Executive of Workplace Support in Christchurch.

 

15 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 2002

15 years ago Salt Lake City was hosting the Winter Olympics and New Zealand had a team of 10 athletes competing in five sports. We won no medals but Claudia Riegler and Liz Couch were our best performers, finishing 11th in the Slalom and Skeleton respectively.

That month The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of the trilogy, would win Best Film at the BAFTAs. Critically acclaimed at the time, it is currently the 50th highest-grossing film of all time.

This was the month former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic went to court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity but he would die four years later before the trial concluded.

 

Use appliances to “get a life” – Simpson claimed the front cover 15 years ago, telling us to “Get a life – Get a Simpson”. Inside we read of a “Brand new direction for Simpson” as the cornerstone to the Electrolux portfolio of whiteware brands.

With Simpson being Electrolux’s largest brand in New Zealand, the key to success was its distinct and relevant brand positioning.

Rosalie Davison was Marketing Manager at the time. Talking about the “Get a life” headline she told Wares: “It’s a bold line that perfectly expresses the audience’s attitude to household chores and clearly indicates that Simpson understands.”

Marketing remains Rosalie’s career and she is Group Marketing Manager for insulation specialist InZone Industries. She still remembers the “Get a life” campaign all these years on, saying it was all about lifestyle and enabling customers to enjoy their kitchens without having their schedules dictated by them.

Was widescreen estimate wide of the mark? – Going into 2001 Philips had predicted that widescreen (16:9) TV sales would take off over the upcoming twelve months – and so it turned out to be with growth reaching 100% and predictions that 2002 would soar as high as a 110% increase.

We shouldn’t get too carried away with the numbers however, given widescreen was still relatively in its infancy, nonetheless it was already obvious that the investment made by Philips and others in this technology was going to pay off handsomely.

In the same February 2002 issue, we see a longer article looking at TV technology and where it was heading. Sharp had no doubt at all that the future lay in LCD, the company’s Jack Butland going so far as to state that slimmer, lighter and less power hungry LCD televisions were about to “revolutionise” the visual products market.

Jack left the corporate world in 2008 to pursue his own entrepreneurial interests. Today he is a highly respected real estate investment professional, mentor and author of The Cash Flow Bible, a book to help others get started in real estate investment (http://jackbutland.com/).

Speaking with Jack recently, he recalled the sceptical responses he got at an ACL conference in Port Douglas when he proclaimed that LCD was “the way of the future”. At around $5,000 for a 15-inch LCD TV, probably that wasn’t surprising, considering large screen CRT was selling at $1,500 or so.

Interesting to add here that it would take another five years for LCD televisions to overtake sales of CRT TVs worldwide and that it’s only now, a decade later, in 2017, that LCD technology is being supplanted at the top end by OLED.

Apples and Windows of opportunity – Genuine Christmas promotions these days tend to get lost amid a screed of high powered advertising around special offers on price and finance terms, not to mention Boxing Day sales which are really just part of the Xmas mishmash.

However, 15 years ago, some genuine thought went into promos. Take Sunbeam, which came up with a good one. It was simple so that won points from me and it was old fashioned.

It was called “Apples for Christmas” and all there was to it from the punter’s perspective was to buy a Sunbeam product and go into the draw to win one of 10 Apple iMac home computers.

The photo (above) shows Sunbeam Rep Helen Green, assisted by Joan Beard of Farmers Papakura presenting John Killeen with his Apple which he won after buying a Sunbeam Sandwich Grill. Helen retired just over seven years ago and enjoys travel and gardening.

Still with computers, Harvey Norman also made the news section with Christchurch Computer Proprietor Trevor Thomas presenting customer, Stacey Hill, with her prize as the winner of a Microsoft promotion.

After around 25 years in retail, Trevor has taken on an entirely new challenge as Service Delivery Manager at Alsco and, with the company being an Official Sponsor of the ASB Classic tennis tournaments, he was rapt to host customers in the corporate box during the women’s event.

 

Pleased as punch at PRG – In early 2002, Pacific Retail Group (PRG) had announced an Operating Profit of $7.5 million before tax and an increase in half year sales to $212.6 million, up from $6.1 million and $198.4 million respectively.

15 years ago, PRG comprised Noel Leeming/Computer City, Bond & Bond and the newly launched Big Byte stores while Living & Giving looked after the gift and homeware side.

PRG Chief Executive, Peter Halkett, was pretty pleased with the result and outlined some of the measures taken to achieve better results to Wares: “Appliance store redevelopment, better stock and supplier management along with reduced costs through improved distribution and logistics have contributed to this performance.”

He also shared some ideas on the future, with PRG “focused on growth strategies in a very competitive market”, looking to develop the new brands in its portfolio, increase total retail space and implement new concepts such as the Contract Manager scheme.

The Group’s finance division was also seen as a big opportunity for growth as it expanded outside its core role of supplying hire purchase finance to appliance activity.

Today we find Peter in Sydney, where he is Executive Chairman of APG & Co, a company presiding over “Australia’s assembly of iconic fashion brands”, namely Sportscraft, Saba and Jag.

Taking a Big Byte of the market – As mentioned above, in February 2002 Pacific Retail Group (PRG) launched an attack on the computer retail segment with the opening of its first Big Byte stores in Christchurch and Palmerston North.

After-sales backup was an important component of the mix, illustrated by the fact that technicians manned a PC Clinic seven days a week.

“That’s very important to a lot of customers,” said Christchurch Manager Keir Wilkinson at the time. “It’s their number one reason for shopping with us. If you are out to buy computer gear, Big Byte will come over and find out exactly what will suit you best if that’s what you need. We try to be as flexible as we can be.”

Big Byte also had staff dedicated to helping SME customers and an area in-store called the Solution Centre where clients could sit with expert staff to decide on the best individual options.

The Christchurch store had eight highly trained women and 15 men on the team, ranging from late teens into people in their 50s and they were all deemed to be specialists, not shop assistants.

All the above sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Could it be that some of the lessons learned during the Big Byte episode have rubbed off on one of its former PRG stablemates?

By the way, just three years later, four of the five Big Byte sites had shut their doors…

Keir Wilkinson quit the industry about eight years ago and now owns Harrisons Carpets in Nelson.

Movers & Shakers 15 years ago – Having spent nine years with Motorola before setting up a telecommunications business, Tony White joined Philips as General Sales Manager Consumer Electronics, with Todd Selwyn also coming on board as Product Manager DVD/Audio following some time at Ecco Pacific looking after Tefal, Swatch and Alcatel.

Tony and his wife Robin nowadays own the Auckland Central and Eastern franchises for Mr Rentals and Todd is Head of Mobile Portfolio at Samsung, after having worked in the UK with Philips Croydon and Apple.

By 2002, Alan Peters had been in and around appliances for 28 years, the last three as Parmco’s Sales & Marketing Manager before being appointed the company’s General Manager. At the same time, Fisher & Paykel personality Eamon Kenny was about to head to the UK to take up the position of General Manager, charged with European expansion.

 

10 YEARS AGO – FEBRUARY 2007

A decade ago, on 5 February 2007, Don Brash’s resignation from Parliament took effect. He had been supplanted by John Key as the nation’s leader the November prior.

Eight days later, disgraced MP Taito Phillip Field was expelled from the Labour Party caucus and later in the month British PM Tony Blair announced that as many as 1,600 troops would be withdrawn from Iraq over the next few months.

 

Going large on smalls – These days you get Russell Hobbs products from Spectrum Brands but, 10 years ago, Salton NZ was the distributor and had taken the front cover to promote the new Russell Hobbs Mountain Breeze air purifier which had been awarded the British Allergy Foundation Deal of Approval.

A DPS inside the magazine advertised other Russell Hobbs small appliances, like the iRobot Scoober robotic floor washer (iRobot now of course is here in its own right these days) and George Foreman kitchen appliances, that brand also now in the Spectrum camp.

Also in smalls, we announced that dairy giant Fonterra had chosen the Sharp R2197JS commercial microwave oven to partner its new range of Riccocino hot drinks – frozen coffee, mocchacino, hot chocolate and caramel latte. These were a patented world first which customers could thaw and heat on the spot in Sharp microwaves.

The drinks had been successfully trialled in Hamilton and were about to be launched nationally in a variety of petrol stations. We’re not sure how that project went, but would be glad to hear more.

Putting floorcare to bed – 10 years ago, Dyson came up with a promotion targeting just 100% YES customers. Entry was automatic for anyone purchasing a Dyson vac and the prize a $4,000 Sleepmaker bed.

Kathryn Hammond won the northern regional prize and she was presented with her bed by Glen Vercoe and Toni Kowalski at Heathcotes 100% in Morrinsville.

Kirsten Watkins was successful in the central region after buying her Dyson from Walsh’s 100% in Waitara and Harry Cheeseman looked right at home when receiving his bed from Michelle of Ross Ditmer 100% in Rangiora.

 

JB Hi-Fi’s three-year Hill & Stewart ownership – Founded in 1951, iconic Auckland retailer Hill & Stewart had become the Hill & Stewart Group in 1983 when the shops were franchised out to individual owner-operators. Another change came when Nigel Merrett acquired the 11-store co-op in 2001.

In our February 2007 edition, we revealed that Nigel had sold the business to Melbourne-based JB Hi-Fi, led by Richard Uechtritz, who said that Hill & Stewart offered JB Hi-Fi a good opportunity to acquire a solid base and infrastructure for expansion into the New Zealand market.

“This is a good deal for us,” he said at the time, adding, without the benefit of hindsight, “We intend to keep the Hill & Stewart name and operate as a separate entity to the JB Hi-Fi stores. This was a deal whereby we purchased existing relationships with vendors as well as a lot of goodwill.”

Nigel Merrett would continue as Managing Director and work with JB Hi-Fi’s management team to drive expansion in New Zealand but, sadly, Hill & Stewart (which was also found guilty of 14 charges under the Fair Trading Act that same year) would shut up shop for good in 2010.

That same year, Richard Uechtritz gave up the role as JB Hi-Fi’s CEO that he’d held for the last decade to become a Non-Executive Director which, we understand, he still is.

Auckland’s original “superstore” – In February 2007’s “Focus on Retail” segment, Noel Leeming Wairau Park was the featured store. 15 years earlier, it had been the original Auckland destination “superstore” for the group, when the retailer was owned and managed by Roger Bhatnagar and Greg Lancaster.

Back to 2007 and Wairau Park was still Noel Leeming’s flagship in several respects and was billed as the “largest specialist appliance store in the country”.

Peter Barton was the store’s Manager and he had been with the company for 15 years, all but two of them in Christchurch.

He said at the time: “This is one of the best Noel Leeming stores. It is imperative that we keep it leading edge and the facility itself is a key driver in this.” There were a variety of “stores within a store” in the building including Apple and Fisher & Paykel.

Peter is National Retail Manager at Office Max these days.

 

Movers & Shakers 10 years ago – The name Steve Penman pops up quite often in Wares’ pages and in February 2007 he had been appointed to head up the New Zealand Daewoo Electronics Division for Australian distributor, The Indent Appliance Group (TIAG). At the moment Steve is taking time out but is now keen to look at any new opportunities.

Stephen Hodson had just arrived at Fujifilm 10 years back, from JVC and Philips before that, taking up the role of Divisional Manager.

With Stephen’s departure and Hagemeyer’s demise, JVC restructured under the distributorship of Smart Technology NZ whose management team consisted of Mike Graham (Technical Manager), Paul Kamau (Operations Manager), Thayer MacArthur (National Account Manager) and Ashley Burrell (National Sales & Marketing Manager and later GM).

Today, Mike is Operations Manager for Central Siteworks in the construction industry while Paul is in Wellington, a Director of the family business Smart Products. Ashley owns Burrell Marketing Group out of Tawa, as well as the Abtec Audio Lounge in Petone) and Thayer is, in his words, “a stay-at-home DIY dad” in Whakatane.

10 years ago, Paul Halliwell, a previous Wares Awards Finalist, had just joined Magness Benrow as Manager of the new Home Zone Constellation Drive branch. Now, he has his own business, AV World in Dominion Road.

Also noteworthy a decade back was the promotion of Alan Dalton to the position of General Manager of Electrolux Floor Care & Small Appliances, a post he holds to this day.

Warren Duncan joined Sharp as Product Marketing Manager for Consumer Electronics and Brenda Inia arrived at Nilfisk-Advance to cover both Reception and Customer Service. Warren is Head of Procurement & Category Management at Spark while Brenda is now a Maintenance Administrator with Housing Corp.

Over at EECA in 2007, Nicky Boughtwood became Project Manager for the ENERGY STAR programme, Steve Klasema joined Direct Imports as a Sales Representative and Alana Wildbore was a new Territory Sales Manager for Conair.

Nicky is now involved in taking food education to schools in her role with Garden to Table, Steve is Operations Manager at Post Harvest Solutions in the Hawkes Bay and Alana is still with Conair, as a Key Account Manager.

 

So, 2017 is underway. In the April issue of the magazine we’ll check out how Philips restructured two decades ago, visit Dunedin retailer Smyths Living as a Betta Electrical store in 2002 and from 2007 we’ll cover the ill-fated Dick Smith Powerhouse project. See you next time!

 

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