Close
 

Des Flynn talks retail history for NZ Retail's 70th anniversary issue

  • News
  • February 19, 2019
Des Flynn talks retail history for NZ Retail's 70th anniversary issue

Des Flynn celebrated half a century in retail in 2016. Before he was a senior retail executive, board member, mentor and customer services expert, he started his career as a volunteer at his school’s tuck shop. Upon graduating, he worked his way up through the grocery system before joining The Warehouse Group. These are his recollections.

As a child in the 1950s, I remember:

Shops were open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and had one late night on Friday until 9pm.

Everything was served from either behind or over counters in all stores.

No supermarkets existed, but the grocer had a whole wall full of goods behind the counter with a roller ladder to reach the items that were high up.

The grocer always wore a white apron and had a pencil behind his ear.
Not a calculator in sight (they hadn’t been invented), just a pad to add up on.
For larger orders, the customer dropped off the hand-written order, the grocer made up the order and a grocery boy delivered the goods on a bicycle with a basket on the front.
The goods were charged to the customer’s weekly account.

Aniseed balls were five for a penny at the dairy, and gob stoppers one for a penny. [Ed: The Reserve Bank’s inflation calculator prices one penny in 1955 as equivalent to $0.21 in 2018.]

Three pence bought a small packet of Wattie’s potato chips, which contained a small piece of blue waxed paper twisted into a ball. This contained the salt to shake through the pack.

New clothes were typically selected by the female in the household and taken home “on appro” for others to try on at home and the items chosen were later purchased.

In the 1960s:

The supermarkets arrived, and customers were allowed to select their own goods.
Limited ranges were offered for sale as all imports were tightly controlled by the Government of the time. The total supermarket stock range count was only 800 items.
Some items were rationed (oranges at Christmas), and other seasonal items unavailable when they had sold out for the rest of the year.

Trading hours changed. Shops were allowed to open Thursday night instead of Friday night if all of the retailers in the local area agreed to the change.

Radical things happened in 1967 as we changed from old imperial money to decimal currency, and the rest of the measures such as distance, weight, etc, followed in quick succession.

Many stores made the change to self-service selection, and this phenomenon excited customers who were now able to touch [product] before they bought it.

By the 1970s:

Market deregulation was on the cards – and this was a huge shift in Government thinking.
The dollar was floated against international currencies; import licencing was abolished and new markets opened up to dramatically increase product ranges and offer customers huge selections.
Inflation was rampant and out of control. Mortgage interest rates were up to as much as 23 percent.
Some stores in tourist areas were granted a Saturday morning trading licence.
1979 saw the first national letterbox mailer dropped by Woolworths for their 25th Anniversary Sale.
A law change allowed milk to be sold in supermarkets, with wine to follow in the next decade.

In the 1980s:

Technology started to change the way shopkeepers did business.
First barcodes and scanning were introduced in a few supermarkets, and later followed by Eftpos in just a few stores.
Credit cards made their debut – but oh no – not for supermarket shopping!
Saturday shopping became available to everyone in the early 80’s, but not Sunday until late 1989.

In the 1990’s

There was a change to all trading hours with a shift to 24/7 except for 3.5 days in the year.
The internet was adopted widely, and in the late 1990s the first online shopping site arrived with www.woolworths.co.nz .
Radio frequency devices were introduced to manage ordering, ticket printing etc.
Supply chain efficiencies began ramping up in a big way.

During the 2000s:

Technology changes enabled the beginning of digital retailing, mobile devices, omni-channel, and customer data collection, plus more.

There was a drive to look after employees, offering opportunities to increase learning and development, and gain qualifications…

… all leading up to where we are today!

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

  • Property
  • May 16, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Readings present revised plan for Courtenay Central

The company that owns Courtenay Central in Wellington says it has big plans for redeveloping the complex - which is closed due to earthquake risks.

Read more
 
 

How to tell if you're a born retailer

  • Opinion
  • May 16, 2019
  • David Farrell
How to tell if you're a born retailer

Retail is a profession, but true retailers are born not made, says Dave Farrell.

Read more
 
 

Sustainable soap wrapper among major winners at Pride In Print Awards

  • Opinion
  • May 15, 2019
  • Sue Archibald
 Sustainable soap wrapper among major winners at Pride In Print Awards

A sustainable, heat sealed soap wrapper that is claimed to saving tonnes of PET plastic film, petrochemical wax and glue from landfill each year, has won a major award in the Pride In Print industry awards. Sue Archibald, Pride in Print Awards manager, shares more.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Inside Little Yellow Bird’s equity crowdfunding campaign

  • News
  • May 15, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Inside Little Yellow Bird’s equity crowdfunding campaign

Wellington social enterprise Little Yellow Bird is seeking to scale its ethical apparel operation to the next level with an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Read more
 
 

Auckland design agency wins gold for retail packaging

  • News
  • May 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Auckland design agency wins gold for retail packaging

As a benchmark for impeccably designed packaging of consumer products, The Dieline Awards this year saw creative agency Onfire walk away with recognition for fantastic design for their retail products. We spoke with Matt Grantham, creative director at Onfire Design, about the importance of a strong visual brand in the retail product sector.

Read more
 

BYO containers policy live from June 1 at Foodstuffs stores

  • News
  • May 14, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
BYO containers policy live from June 1 at Foodstuffs stores

Customers at Foodstuffs supermarkets’ instore butchery, seafood counter, delicatessen and bakery will be able to have food packed into their own clean, leak-proof containers from June 1.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}