First, the small Mairangi Bay supermarket was a Nosh, then it became a New World, now it is Auckland's first Fresh Collective by New World.

Phil Mead, involved with the North Shore store at 10a Constellation Dr under all three brands, said the premises had undergone significant changes.

Mead is now the owner/operator of Auckland's first Fresh Collective, a new brand started by Foodstuffs North Island whose other brands include Pakn'Save.

In changing from New World to Fresh Collective, Mead said extra checkouts were added, staff numbers rose from 18 to 29 and more of an emphasis was on read-to-go and fresh produce.


"What doesn't break you makes you stronger," Mead said of his time with all three brands.

The store drew about 600 people/day as a New World but he is expecting more as a Fresh Collective.

Asked for an update on Countdown's expansion plans, a spokeswoman said: "Over the last year Countdown has opened five new supermarkets around the country and refurbished seven of our stores. This year we're continuing our focus to invest in our store network to make sure we have the best supermarket offer in the right places for our customer."

Steve Bayliss, Foodstuffs North Island's group general manager, showed off new LED lighting, new signage and how a front wall facing Constellation Dr had been demolished to allow more natural light into the store.

Costs for the store upgrade were shared between Foodstuffs and owner/operators, Bayliss said.

"They way we're living and shopping has changed - away with the chest freezer, buy the wine fridge. People are not planning weekly meals in the way they were a few years ago. We've got busy with traffic and duel working households. So we have to adapt," Bayliss said.

"Dining out, home delivery and takeaways is growing three times as fast as grocery sales," Bayliss said, emphasising the need for his business to respond to those changes.

The new store opened today.


Chris Quin, Foodstuffs North Island chief executive, said: "The store joined the Foodstuffs North Island co-operative in May and has been operating under a temporary New World banner since then."

The store has a new look, new layout and new product offerings, he said.

An in-house barista, made-on-the-spot smoothies, sushi, meal kits for dinners and meat from an in-house butcher were on offer at the new store, he said.

But everyday, food-focused top-up grocery needs were also still being stocked.

"For some time now, we've been analysing what we offer our urban customers. We wanted to give them a smaller grocery experience that answers that question of 'what will we eat tonight' with plenty of fresh produce and take-home meal solutions," Quin said.

"The store has fresh food at its heart, with an extensive deli counter, a full specialty cheese range and an extensive range of fresh fruit and vegetables. It brings the best of what New World offers to a small, local store," he said.

Urban customers pop in several times a week for different reasons, he said, so Fresh Collective aimed to satisfy that style of demand.

"Sometimes they're just looking for a coffee or lunch, but might grab a couple of grocery items at the same time. Sometimes they're looking for a handy meal solution for tonight's dinner. Whatever their reason for shopping, they want the experience to be warm, inviting and full of the delightful sights and smells you get in a beautiful fresh food market," Quin said.

"We've been working on this concept for some time. We created a prototype of what a Fresh Collective experience would look like, which allowed everyone involved to walk around inside it and comment on the design and customer flow. That was a first for us, and we found it a really useful, creative part of the process. To be able to pick up the deli counter and move it to another position, or make an aisle a little wider, was really helpful."

The next Fresh Collective will be at Mt Albert's Four Square and is due to open later next month. That store closed on June 20 for the refurbishments, Quin said.

Around 10 Auckland stores were envisaged, Quin said, either on sites Foodstuffs will lease or property it owns.