Senior discount day back at Te Anau store after outcry

FreshChoice Te Anau. Photo: Google
FreshChoice Te Anau. Photo: Google
Te Anau SuperGold cardholders had felt their FreshChoice supermarket had sold them out, but a hasty change of mind will mean Super SuperGold Card Tuesday is back on the shopping list.

Te Anau pensioner David Fortune contacted the Otago Daily Times earlier this week to say he was disappointed the supermarket chain was not offering the promotion’s 5% discount.

"That’s very disappointing because they’ve been supported by us through Covid and why they want to actually wring the last couple of cents out of the pensioners, I’m not sure," he said.

He had written to the company but "didn’t get any sense in a reply".

He discovered the discount on the SuperGold website.

But he felt very let down upon discovering the Te Anau shop had opted out of the national promotion.

"I’m really p....d off because they rely on us. Te Anau is a tourist town, and through the winter they rely on us very much and through Covid we were actually the people keeping them all afloat ... and they’re really thumbing their nose at us.

"The tourist market is the cream, but this is really a slap on the face for us who have supported them.

"If you spend $100 a week you save $250 bucks a year."

The store used to offer discounts on purchases of more than $40, he said.

But the promotion was axed during the pandemic.

Te Anau’s FreshChoice store, owned by James Cullen, is one of two supermarkets operating in the township.

Mr Cullen was contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday but he declined to comment.

The FreshChoice brand is a Woolworths subsidiary company, but stores are privately owned.

A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed a couple of hours after the Otago Daily Times contacted Mr Cullen the Te Anau store had now joined the national SuperGold offer and it would soon be activated in-store.

The company ran the programme on a store-by-store basis, they said.

The Te Anau store, along with the Fendalton store in Christchurch, were the only two of 48 FreshChoice supermarkets nationwide that had opted out of the promotion.

Just under 20% of residents living in Te Anau’s surrounding districts are over 65.

By Toni McDonald