When you set up shop in a city like Auckland, especially in or near the CBD, the one thing you can be sure of is that at some point in time roadworks will happen outside.
The simple truth is that our urban landscape is constantly changing, and here at New World it has to be said we’ve seen our fair share of change since I arrived in 2010: the creation of the Victoria Park Tunnel, redevelopment of Victoria Park Market, and resurfacing of Franklin Road, to name just three.
The last of those is still ongoing, of course, having started in August 2016, and with completion now not expected until next June - yes, almost three years of roadworks!
Improvements include cycle lanes, a much-needed roundabout at Wellington Street, catenary lighting that will add to the road's charm, and a new stormwater pipe to protect our precious Waitemat-a Harbour.
Our underground carpark is also being changed so just one lane can exit onto Franklin Road, instead of the current two - and we certainly see the merit in pedestrians and cyclists being able to traverse that busy entrance, knowing as we do how our entire city is rethinking how we get around.
Other promised improvements outside our store include new footpaths and drainage, brighter street lighting, and protection for the roots of Franklin Road’s iconic plane trees.
At the same time all this is happening outside our store, at New World Victoria Park we’ve been busy rethinking how we can modernise too, and make improvements accordingly.
The biggest milestone in that regard has been the launch of our 'I shop New World' online platform, meaning customers can now do their grocery shopping online, whenever and wherever they are, with the option of picking it up or having it delivered if they live locally, on a day and at a time that suits.
The thing I like about 'I shop New World' is it’s linked to individual New World stores, so you still have that personal connection with your local to ensure you get the same quality of goods and service. We pride ourselves on having that locally owned touch.
Alongside this is our catering service 'Made2Order', which offers an extensive range of platters - from antipasti platters and sushi to cakes and other sweet treats from our in-house bakery. We can even do bouquets of flowers and gift baskets.
It’s the perfect time-saver for the busy summer season, whether you’re having a birthday party, office function or other get together — let us take all the stress out of it for you. We can even deliver it right to your home.
If you’ve visited us lately you may have also noticed we’ve updated much of our signage and decor, in keeping with New World’s modern look and our constant focus on improving the shopping experience.
Which really ties in with how I started this piece - looking up Franklin Road at the roadworks that have been going on for the past two years. Just as supermarkets need upgrades to keep them looking good and user-friendly, so do our city roads. Both get worn out by too much traffic. Repairs are inevitable.
Don’t get me wrong - we’re just as frustrated as many other locals about the disruption we’ve seen so far and will continue to see for months more. But we’re confident the outcome will be worth the wait and that by this time next year Franklin Road will finally be improved and future-proofed - until I retire at least!