INDEPENDENT NEWS

Farmlands Heads North

Published: Mon 22 Dec 2003 10:56 AM
Farmlands Heads North
Northland is rural retailer Farmlands Trading Society’s latest target.
Farmlands Chief Executive John Newland today announced Farmlands has contracted to purchase Betta Farm Supplies, a family farm supply business, in Whangarei.
“Purchasing an existing business in a new catchment area gives Farmlands significant competitive advantage.
“It is a well established, profitable business with a solid reputation and strong customer base, that’s been operating in Whangarei for 15 years”.
“Having now secured an already successful business we expect to build on that success, we see huge potential and this is very exciting.
“We will move quickly to transform the business to look like a Farmlands store and will begin marketing the co-operative’s benefits to attract Northland membership”.
Mr Newland said over the past year Farmlands had developed a good business relationship with the family owner of the Whangarei business Colin Carton, supplying the store with a range of merchandise under the strength of Farmlands buying power.
“It was from this that the opportunity to buy the business became attractive to both parties – from our perspective it made excellent commercial sense”. “We have been looking at moving further north of Hamilton. This gives Farmlands critical market share and spread placing us in an ideal strategic position to capture long-term opportunities closer to Auckland”.
“With 5,542 farms, Whangarei and its outlying areas is a large catchment area and there is certainly room for us”.
Farmlands has appointed Brad Saxton as the new manager of the Whangarei store. He will be transferring from Farmlands Tokoroa where he opened a new branch two years ago.
Brad grew up in Northland and is looking forward to returning to the region, Mr Newland said.
The Whangarei announcement comes on the back of Farmlands opening its first store in Stratford, Taranaki, this – another aggressive move to offer farmers competition in a region that has been dominated by larger players.
With the opening in Stratford and the Whangarei purchase, Farmlands will have 29 stores throughout the North Island.
Background
Six Hawke’s Bay Farmers established Farmlands in 1962 to gain cheaper access to farm supplies.
Today Farmlands has a record 16,500 members, and 250 staff. It has an annual sales turnover of more than $260 million and is ranked as one of New Zealand’s top 100 companies.
Joining Farmlands involves a one-off and fully refundable $550 investment and membership is now open to everyone, including people living in town as well as schools, community organisations and local authorities.
You don't have to be a member to shop at a Farmlands store.

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