A sea of people, often seen in first-class cricket, soccer and rugby matches, converged at Get Fresh Supermarket to be a part of its opening on Saturday, February 21, 2013.
Men, women and children were queuing up at the entrance of the new retail store (at 99 Westney Road) in Mangere, Auckland and continued to do so till late in the evening, firstly to see what it was all about and then make purchases for their families and friends.
Customers from all over Auckland and neighbouring areas were seen at the venue, making it a unique occasion, the first of its type in the country.
Inside the sprawling Supermarket, hundreds of people stood in line to reach the checkout counters, the busiest that one has seen in years.
Almost every item, ranging from rice, groceries and bulk food to vegetables and fruits, meat and beverages, was on specials, encouraging people to make their weekly or daily purchases.
The new outlet, on 99 Westney Road, will soon become a landmark in the area.
While most businesses are complaining of recession and a downturn in the market, some entrepreneurs like Get Fresh Group Managing Director Hussain Ali and his son and Director Naushad believe that this is the best time to expand and offer something better and bigger to the community.
“Quality products at the lowest possible price have been our motive, since I began my business in Fiji more than 25 years ago. We have always believed in being the first and best choice for customers, giving back to the community whatever we can,” Mr Ali said.
The need for a better location to cater to the growing clientele in and around Mangere has been pronounced and the new supermarket fulfils that need.
Mr Ali said that customers in the region had long felt the need for a supermarket of this type.
“They deserved a full-fledged Get Fresh retail outlet with the convenience of a large parking area and a comprehensive range of quality and low-priced products. We have added a Takeaway section for everyone’s benefit,” he said.
The supermarket affords the company the opportunity to stock a wider range of products and to make it a one-stop shop.
Unlike many other ethnic groups, people of Indian origin prefer to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables every other day but until now, they were constrained by lack of choice.
“There are many vegetables which are grown only in Fiji or India but we have had no means to get them on a daily basis. Although limited even now, the new supermarket provides a wider range. We will at least have no cause to complain,” Sagar, a resident of the area said.
Such comments were free flowing throughout the opening day as customers took home some varieties of vegetables that are not often available elsewhere.
“It was such feedback that prompted us to establish the new supermarket in Mangere. Although we stock frozen fruits and vegetables imported from Fiji and other countries, a majority of our customers prefer fresh produce,” Mr Ali said.
The extensive fruits and vegetables section is constantly replenished with fresh stock to encourage people to eat healthier food.
Over the years, Get Fresh has established a reputation for marketing a wide range of groceries, spices and bulk food.
The company’s ability to purchase them in large quantity accrues better rates, which are passed on to customers.
Which is why, almost all items including salted or plain cashew nuts, almonds, dry fruits and an extensive range of other products are offered at prices that can never be matched by other larger supermarkets in the country.
“High quality at low price is our mantra. Encouraging people to buy items, which they overlook in other places because of the high costs at which they are sold, is one of the objectives of the Get Fresh Group. It is our customers who patronise our growth and expansion and hence they must be rewarded constantly,” Mr Ali said.
Rice, wheat, flour and such items of daily use are available in packages of varied brands and weight to suit customer budget and needs.
Cooking oil, canned goods, pickles – almost every item needed for a household can be found at this supermarket, which customers say is one of the most extensive for Indian and other families in Auckland.
Branded Indian snacks and similar items that have stood the test of time form a part of the products at this store.
While fizzy drinks find their inevitable space at the supermarket, there are many other healthier and less known soft drinks and beverages that would almost certainly find growing customer demand.
These include a variety of fruit juices and beverages.