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Quake-damaged Rangiora welcomes Farmers back into town

  • News
  • March 21, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Quake-damaged Rangiora welcomes Farmers back into town
Rangiora's previous Farmers store.

Construction of the two-storey store began last year, with the new store to be twice the size of the one previously destroyed in the earthquake.

It will be 5000 square metres in size.

Whitcoulls, Pascoes, Specsavers and sushi shops are also planned to open in the surrounding area.

Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power says the store opening has been a long wait for the people of Waimakariri primarily because of insurance issues.

“The new building represents a vastly improved shopping environment in a store that exemplifies state-of-the-art retail thinking designed in harmony with the town’s main street architecture and landscape,” Power says.

“We are very much looking forward to again being a key member of the Waimakariri community and helping to restore some confidence in Rangiora as a retail destination.”

Waimakariri District Council mayor David Ayers says its opening is another road in the to recovery, and a big step at that.

Farmers’ return will be welcomed for the additional shopping options, but also for the stimulation it will provide to other retailers, he says.

“Farmers is an iconic chain with a presence throughout towns and cities across the country.

“The return to Rangiora provides the town with another state-of-the-art shopping outlet and is also a huge vote of confidence from The Farmers Trading Company in the future development of both Rangiora and the wider Waimakariri district.”

Rangiora has a population of around 17,000 and is the largest town in north Canterbury.

Its High Street has been labelled a ‘heritage precinct’ due to how many historic buildings it has, such as the Post Office (1936) and the Farmers building (1919).

When the 2011 earthquake first struck, spending was up, as a flock of Christchurch residents were unable to do their spending in the CBD, so instead went to Rangiora to shop.

However, 12 months later many buildings were fenced off from the public due to safety concerns, meaning spending tailed off.

The public went elsewhere to do their shopping and reports said businesses were hit hard.

The news that Farmers’ opening is only months away will be of relief to retailers.

When it shut its previous Rangiora store in 2012, retailers’ sales in the surrounding area were significantly impacted by spending attrition.

“Everybody wants Farmers back in town,” shop owner Sharon Kennedy told Stuff in 2013.

The store is on schedule to open in September. 

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