Rainfall shoppers' windfall

Two downpours this week have been a disaster for one Dunedin retailer but could provide a windfall for customers.

Stafford St furniture firm My Mate John will today hold a one-off, half-price sale of water-damaged stock worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Founder and managing director John Williamson said water overwhelmed the gutters and downpipes on three of the company's five bulk stores on Monday and yesterday, causing water to flow into the buildings.

''It really affects us because all our stock is imported in cardboard boxes.

''We've been busily unpacking all the stock that got wet. Some of it got minor damage and, in most cases, it's invisible. It's been sitting in water and we can't sell it as perfect.''

So the Stafford St store was having a sale today only, with prices cut by up to 50%.

Mr Williamson described the deluges as ''disastrous'' for the company, although insurance would help cover some, but not all the loss.

''This is great for Dunedin shoppers - it's a good chance to score some great furniture - but it's not great for My Mate John.''

Mr Williamson said it appeared Dunedin's weather patterns were changing and deluges were becoming more frequent. He planned to install better drainage on his bulk stores to prevent flooding.

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