More than 150 years after West Melton was founded it’s now just days away from getting its own modern supermarket.

Four Square West Melton will be officially opened by the new mayor of Selwyn District, Sam Broughton, on Tuesday, 8 November, at 8.30am.

Construction began in February as part of the shopping centre development on Weedons Ross Rd, directly opposite West Melton School.

Now, with around 800m2 of retail floor space ready for its first customers, the supermarket is promising a shopping experience unlike anything seen before in West Melton.

Owners Brent and Leah Little say Tuesday’s opening will be a historic day for both the town and Four Square, each of which has a proud heritage.

“Four Square has been bringing groceries to local communities since 1924,” says Brent Little, “and I have fond memories of visiting the Four Square in Hokitika when I was a boy.”

“West Melton, meanwhile, got its first grocery store in 1872, eight years after the town was founded, before the store was moved into the old blacksmith’s shop in 1937.”

“Four Square West Melton represents a meeting of both timelines, and I’m proud to bring 21st century shopping to West Melton – with no horseshoes but plenty of car parks.”

Leah Little say the supermarket’s modern features include the latest in customer-focussed layout and design, energy-efficient lighting and ozone-friendly refrigeration.

“New trolleys will ensure a smooth ride through the store too,” she says, “and we’ll have a great range of fresh produce, baking, meat and seafood, plus high-tech checkouts.”

Brent Little’s own retailing history goes back 22 years, since he left school. He’s worked for New World and PAK’nSAVE, and done everything from packing bags to slicing ham.

“Experience is key to running supermarkets, and I’m looking forward to applying mine to our new store and getting to know the people of West Melton and the surrounding areas.”

Roger Davidson, GM Property and Retail Development, Foodstuffs South Island, says Four Square’s focus on community engagement is what’s helped it last and continue to grow.

“Our stores are run by the people who own them, so they’re meeting their customers every day,” says Davidson.

“By getting to know the people they serve, and supporting the local schools and groups, they’re able to understand the nuances of each location and meet their distinctive needs.”

Helping the Littles in that important process will be the locals they’ve employed from West Melton and its surrounds – 16 out of a total staff of 20.

“We’ve assembled a fantastic team who are raring to go." Brent Little says. "They know community expectations are high but I’m confident we’ll exceed them next week and well into the future.”

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