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Futuristic Store sets Benchmark

Written by Penny Simpson

Innovation, sustainability and community engagement are at the forefront of the new  Mitre 10 MEGA Wānaka at Three Parks Business Centre.

Brothers Martin and Allan Dippie have owned the local Mitre 10 since 2000 and have built the state-of-the-art store to demonstrate innovation in construction materials and technologies.

General manager Mark Watson says it is rewarding to see the community’s response to the new premises.

“The response from our 10,000 local residents has well exceeded initial budgets and targets,” he says. “Customer feedback indicates locals love the design as it fits into the natural landscape. They have also nick-named the store ‘the Westfield of Wānaka’.”

“We carry a broad selection of most things hardware including an extensive homeware department and garden centre. This is also a general store – with not a lot of other retailers in town we often fill the void for visitors and locals,” says Mark.

The superior design of the garden and trade centre is a standout feature alongside the sizeable indoor showroom.

“We have customised this expansive indoor space with appealing open display areas creating a light and spacious ambience. The design is futuristic and not at all like a traditional Mitre 10 store. It includes high end timber tops, walk in pantries and a tool testing hub featuring hands-on demonstration displays. Here customers can trial and test a wide variety of tools before purchasing.”

Several lounge hubs have been installed to allow trade customers to meet their clients instore and discuss plans, products and options for their projects.

“These hubs are also used for training so suppliers can demonstrate their goods to both our staff and customers,” says Mark. “In-store demonstrations such as rose pruning and building planter boxes are popular and we run our Kids Club events around these spaces.”

Environmentally Friendly

Mitre 10 MEGA Wānaka is ahead of the game when it comes to  sustainability.

General manager Mark Watson says the building features a photovoltaic solar array on the roof and houses an energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling system.

“We have implemented a thermal block to minimise energy wastage when heating and cooling the store. The main retail hall is clad and roofed with Kingspan PIR core fire resistant panels that have an R5 insulation rating.”

Smart automatic-opening windows provide sustainable and energy-efficient passive ventilation.

“Solar energy is generated through the roof to directly offset the main power supply. The solar array is grid-tiedwhich means any surplus generation is exported back to the national grid,” he says. “Our actual goal is to operate off the grid for 50 per cent of the year, subject to seasonality and available sunlight hours.”

The store has its own recycling station that accepts difficult-to-recycle materials such as soft plastics and polystyrene and electric vehicle charging stations have been installed in the carpark.

“We are proud to support the local community through our electric car charging facilities and the revolutionary recycling station allows customers to recycle their own packaging.”

Mark says the business is constantly testing out new customer offers including ‘Click ‘n Collect’ lockers installed at the front of the store. 

“This is an important initiative post-Covid for online shopping and enables visitors who arrive in town after hours to still pick up everything they need from here.”

“Stores like this are not built every day and there are fantastic initiatives moving forward in product and ranging. The owners are fully committed to creating a futuristic store and it’s great to see the business grow through these modernisations.”

About the author

Penny Simpson