By IRENE CHAPPLE
A gas-with-your-groceries offer from Pak'N Save is likely to trigger fierce competition in Auckland between New Zealand's two main supermarket operators.
The budget supermarket chain is introducing petrol discount vouchers this month at its Botany Downs, Manukau and Pukekohe stores.
The offer is similar to one already run by Progressive Enterprises, which owns the Woolworths and Countdown supermarkets, in partnership with Gull petrol.
Shoppers at those stores receive discount vouchers which can be used at nearby Gull stores.
Shoppers need to spend more than $40, and the highest discount is 6c a litre on purchases totalling more than $80.
At Pak'N Save, shoppers will need to spend more than $20 to be entitled to discounts which reach 6c a litre on purchases of more than $150. The petrol pumps are in the Pak'N Save forecourts.
The scheme is already being run at Pak'N Save and Woolworths stores outside Auckland.
Tony Carter, managing director of Pak'N Save owner Foodstuffs, said the discount had been very successful and would be introduced in most of the company's nine stores in the Auckland region.
He said the main differences between the offers was that Pak'N Save had its petrol pumps outside the stores while Countdown and Woolworth's shoppers had to drive to a service station to redeem vouchers.
Progressive Enterprises chief operating officer Richard Umbers said the service stations were close to the supermarkets.
Umbers said he would be watching his competitor's moves with interest.
"All I'd like to say at this stage is that we've got some plans," he said.
"There is already a high level of competition between us and Foodstuffs and I can only see it intensifying."
Carter said Pak'N Save's introduction of the scheme in Rotorua had triggered the competition into responding with special promotions.
However, he did not expect the offer to have a significant impact on surrounding service stations.
Carter said it was aimed at people already shopping at Pak'N Save and "we want to offer them the convenience of [petrol] at a low price."
The site manager of the Shell sevice station neighbouring the Botany Downs supermarket, Graeme Beechey, said it would not be affected by the offer because Shell gave customers "the best service."
By IRENE CHAPPLE