After more than 60 years you can be forgiven for briefly scratching your head when it comes to local business fixture Chainey's, because they have moved!
The business has moved from 241 Oxford St in Levin, just down the road to 183 Oxford St.
Generations of Horowhenites have worn a path to the store to kit out their homes with whiteware, furniture, televisions and small household appliances.
You can still easily spot the store: its signature row of lawnmowers is lined up right outside.
The Wiltons have owned the store since 1984 and theirs is the only Chainey shop still in existence.
Keith and Sheryl Wilton, their son Bryan and trusty helpers Cheryl and Ian do what they can to supply their customers and pride themselves on solid and quick service. Keith and Sheryl bought the shop off Chainey's, at the time a regional institution which started in Whanganui and had eight shops in various towns.
"I found some old records recently, which show the Levin shop sold its first bike in 1942."
After 40 years in the same place, the Wiltons decided it was time to move, because their lease came up for renewal and the owner of the new building actively sought them out about moving.
"It was a lot of work though, moving out after 40 years," Keith said.
The move has brought them huge benefits, though. For starters, the new shop has been earthquake-proofed and they have a lot more room, so all their stock, previously spread over something like three shops, can be on display in the same place. Sadly, because of the layout of the building, there is no room for a workshop any more, though they still have secondhand appliances.
The whiteware is in the front of the store, the furniture, beds and small appliances are down the back, and there is much in between.
"When we bought the shop we just did bikes," remembers Keith. Soon after, he started to sell household appliances and it just grew from there. Now they also have furniture, beds, and a range of small household appliances (like kettles), as well as audio equipment and televisions. They even sell vacuum cleaner bags and much more.
The new shop has added about a third to the available space and they had no trouble filling all that space. They still have storage elsewhere.
Covid-19 and the lockdowns have affected them as much as others.
"Life is awkward with all the new rules. I'm really over it, but regardless we carry on. It is great to see people continuing to shop locally. Just last week I had a member of one Foxton Beach family's fifth-generation come in to buy from us."
So, apart from a bigger, brighter shop just down the road, nothing has changed and it is personalised business as usual for the team at Chainey's.
• You can find Chainey's at 183 Oxford St, ph 06 368 4102, email email@example.com