In the last two months Foodstuffs – under their “proudly 100% owned and operated” supermarket chains Pak’n’Save and New World – have been milking the backlash against Countdown with ramped up advertising.
Pak’n’Save in particular, already known for their sometimes contrversial advertising, have been taking jabs at Australia with ads like “Don’t worry Cheesy, it’s too hot for you in Australia anyway” “Haere Mai, welcome home my tasty friends” (complete with several food items exiting a plane) and “What next? Aussie supermarkets ban the word ‘bro’?”
But instead of Pak’n’Save, New world stands to be in the firing line.
Christchurch small business owner Keun Mook Yook, known as Willy, has owned and operated Willy’s Dairy in the suburb of Halswell for 13 years. His business is situated in a shopping centre which Foodstuffs has purchased with plans to rebuild the earthquake damaged Halswell branch of New World.
Far from willing to negotiate with him, Foodstuffs has several times sent him correspondence reminding him of the deadline – April 1st – by which he must hand over the keys to his store.
It also seems he is being discriminated against. While other business owners in the complex have been given container shops to work out of while the buildings in the shopping centre are demolished and the supermarket rebuilt, Mr Yook has been repeatedly denied space in the new complex.
Locals have signed a petition in support of Mr Yook’s dairy with over 2700 signatures so far.
Does Foodstuffs care? Not an iota.
Not only that, but they made a statement to The Press claiming they are helping him find alternative premises – a claim Mr Yook says is untrue. He states they have not offered any assistance at all.
Even local MPs Amy Adams and Megan Woods, and City Councillor Jimmy Chen, have written to foodstuffs pleading with them to give Willy’s Dairy respite and allow it to remain.
Still they refuse. Their excuse?
“New World will fill the void.”
With the high prices of rentals and the competition for these spaces in Christchurch Mr Yook simply cannot afford to rent a new space elsewhere. He has “no idea” what he will do after he is forced to leave. He plans to close his doors on March 25 to begin the huge task of clearing the shop.
Who is the bully business now?
Foodstuffs, you’re getting too cocky. Let’s not forget some of those complaints to the commerce Commission have been about other big retailers. Don’t get ahead of yourselves – you could be next.
Especially when you start picking on the little guy.