Cromwell has a bright future with significant growth expected to continue in the key Central Otago town.That’s the word from local businessman, Gary Anderson, who has been operating his home appliance store in the Cromwell Mall since 1989.
“I am hugely passionate about this town and its people. We are lucky to still have a community feel here where businesses support local sports, community events and fundraising. People are shifting here because it’s a great place to live and but above all it is still affordable which is important.”
As New Zealand’s second largest independent retailer of electronic goods, audio solutions, whiteware and home appliances Gary has spent the last 30 years building up his business.
“I started off with a small corner of the local video shop in the Cromwell Mall and built the business from that,” he says.
Today he occupies 500 square meters of floor space in the same location he began in and is recognised as one of the largest electronic online retailers in the country.
“We’ve done it all out of Cromwell and being only 30 minutes from main centres like Wanaka and Queenstown has helped. Certainly, our rents are a lot cheaper here so that’s an advantage and it makes business sense.”
Gary attributes a significant part of his success to long-term staff who have been with him for over 20 years.
“Looking after good people is important as is having a focus from the start and knowing what you want to achieve. I have stuck with major brands such as Bose for the last 18 years and we sell it throughout the country.”
“Samsung and Pioneer have been with me since day one and we are always looking to innovate. We have just taken on Blue Sound which is a wireless streaming service at 24 bites, so the quality of sound is excellent and it’s very easy to use.”
As electronic specialists, Gary and his team work closely with builders all over the region installing sound systems.
“It can be a 12-month process depending on how large the house is and what people want. We sit down with clients and talk them through the options and then work with their builder and joiner to come up with the final design, products and delivery.”
He believes Cromwell will continue to grow with some exciting new developments planned.
“The dynamic of the town is changing, and how the centre of the town operates in the future is the next step. There has been a lot of consultation with the Cromwell Community Board on redevelopment plans that they will now hopefully act on. What has been proposed for a renewed town centre is the future and we just need to get on with the next stage of investment.”