Close collaboration delivers the goods

Close collaboration delivers the goods
A key challenge of the project was ensuring the supermarket remained open throughout the eight-month project.

Freshchoice Merivale has recently undergone a major refurbishment presenting its customers with a modern shopping experience complete with innovation and some very special features. Spearheading construction work was Tauranga based Watts & Hughes Construction.
With a broad range of commercial and industrial construction experience across all sectors and project types throughout New Zealand, Watts & Hughes Construction has undertaken a significant volume of previous projects for Freshchoice’s parent company Woolworths New Zealand.
Commencing construction work in March 2018, the project was completed on time and prior to key peek Christmas trading, which commenced early December.
Watts & Hughes Site Manager for the project, Mike Brophy says keen programming by Senior Contracts Manager Shane Rowse, sometimes down to the hour, played a significant role in the efficient delivery of the project.
With a complete remodel of the shops interior, a key challenge of the project was ensuring the supermarket remained open throughout the eightmonth project and that the safety of the shoppers was always paramount.
“In some areas the shop was condensed to enable the work to be undertaken, but we were also working nights,” says Mike.
“So the heavy construction work was completed in the evenings to minimize disruption and to ensure public safety.”
Maintaining a close working relationship with the supermarkets franchisee, Craig Grant, was another key to the projects success.
“We provided him a heads-up about the work schedule, where we were going to be working and what we needed to bring the project to fruition.”
With business as usual for the supermarket and a steady flow of product arriving throughout the day there was limited storage for construction materials and delivery had to be carefully programed and coordinated. With nothing original left in the supermarket, shoppers will notice signifi cant change says Mike.

Close collaboration delivers the goods
The interior of Freshchoice Merivale has been completely remodelled and refurbished.

“Everything is new. Some of the specialist areas like the deli and bakery went from one side of the supermarket to the other side, there’s new floor tiles and ceiling panels. “There’s new shelving, chillers and freezers, and checkout.
“Wall colours mean the products really stand out – the décor throughout the supermarket is beautiful – it’s the sort of place you would want to visit for the experience.
“The lighting engineers have made an amazing job replacing all the lights with LED’s—it looks so much lighter and brighter.” New features introduced by the innovative supermarket franchisee include a salt room with salt blocks from Afghanistan where customers can select a cut of beef and have it aged, dried and tenderized over several days.
Through word-of-mouth this has become a very popular addition to the supermarket, as has a dedicated wine room displaying premium wines locked behind a glass cabinet to tempt the connoisseur of fine wines.
Mike says fortnightly meetings with Woodham, Meikle and Zhan Architects along with the structural engineers Structus ensured regular project updates and early problem solving. “It was really good to work with everyone involved – the consultants and all the trades.
“A collaborativee approach throughout the entire project saw an excellent product produced on time and within the forecasted budget.”
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