The long-awaited Mitre 10 Wānaka opened its doors last Saturday, when a very high turnout left drivers with no space to park.
Co-owner and Chairman of Mitre 10 New Zealand Martin Dippie said he thought half of Wānaka had visited the store for opening day. “We estimate around 5,000 people came through the doors on Saturday,” he said.
Store manager Mark Watson said it was rewarding to see the community embrace the store after everyone involved had worked so hard to get the job done. The build took 14 months, despite the challenges and disruption brought about by Covid-19, such as a delay to receiving building materials ordered from Austria.
“It’s been a massive team effort that showcases the strength of our family business model and highlights the true spirit of cooperation and the power of the cooperative,” Dippie said.
Located at Three Parks Business Centre, the store is said to demonstrate innovation and sustainability. Featuring a photovoltaic solar array on the roof, electric vehicle charging stations and energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling, the building also houses a recycling station that takes difficult-to-recycle materials such as soft plastics and polystyrene and a massive 3,900m2 garden centre.
Despite the crowds, reception from the Wānaka public was very positive, with some opening day visitors referring to the store as the best in New Zealand.
The fate of the old Mitre 10 on Plantation Road remained uncertain, with Dippie telling the Wānaka Sun there were a “couple of people” interested.
Read edition 1002 of the Wānaka Sun here.