Friday, October 29, 2010

The story of Pete's Place

Once upon a time...

on Norfolk Island there was a man called Pete who in 1976 opened a tiny store (25' x 20') called Pete's Place. The store sold electrical appliances at great prices to tourists and locals. In fact his prices were one third of the retail prices in NZ. Pete also sold bits and pieces of fishing gear, mainly due to his own passion for fishing. Pete's Place had a fantastic following of loyal customers who kept asking for more and more items and before too long the business grew much bigger. Eventually Pete couldn't handle the store on his own so he employed other staff to help which allowed him more time to go fishing. And everyone was happy!

In 1985 Pete made one of his staff (also called Pete) a manager. This enabled Pete to travel internationally sourcing new products and brands to sell in the store. With great staff and fantastic products to sell, the business grew even more and it was necessary to expand the building. The first extension took place in 1986 which doubled the size of the store. But the more room there was the more products Pete imported and the store soon became chocker block full. By 1992 Pete's Place became filled with everything... including the kitchen sink!! Pete realised he was running out of room again and another huge extension was added to accommodate the hardware and building supplies.

Pete Woodward made Pete Meers a Shareholder in the company and together with their business knowledge and lots of hard work they made Woodward's Agencies very successful. By 2004 they were able to purchase another business called Norfolk Island Building Supplies (NIBS) and moved all of their building supplies to the new location. And everyone was happy!

Pete's Place then went back to focusing on homewares for locals and international products specifically imported for the visitor market. Today Pete's Place is an icon on Norfolk Island. It is the largest department store and has been labelled Norfolk Island's most interesting store. It's quite common for tourists to spend hours wandering around the store. Many times the staff have had to offer a spouse finding service for wives and husbands who get lost in this Aladdin's Cave full of fascinating stock.

Pete proudly acknowledges his families involvement in the business. Pete's son Richard played a big part in the 1986 and 1992 building extensions and his daughter Lisa spent 5 years as Manager of Pete's Place giving it a touch of female flair. In 2009/2010 Pete's Place underwent a major facelift and now has a new shop-front which finally reflects the enormity of the store. The shop front is only stage one of the extension and stage two is yet to take place in the near future. Stage two plans are still a secret but we can guarantee it will be an exciting addition to an already amazing store! And everyone will be happy!

There are currently seven full-time staff working at Pete's Place and they are all happy to offer good old-fashioned customer service. After 34 years Pete still works in the store and if you are lucky enough you will be able to get a knife sharpening demonstration from him. It is one place you feel welcome to shop in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at your own leisure. So next time you are on Norfolk Island... drop in to Pete's Place... where everyone is happy!

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