Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Death of an Era

A MAN whose business acumen sparked Wairarapa's most hotly contested grocery and liquor price wars died yesterday in Wellington Hospital.
John Chung, owner of Chungs Supermarket in Featherston, had been ill in hospital for several weeks.
Mr Chung virtually pioneered grocery price wars in Wairarapa in the mid-1960s by going head-to-head with several rival grocers, determined to offer goods at the lowest possible price.

Most reading this would have no idea who this person was. Mr Chung was one of the last true independent supermarket operators. He wouldn't have a bar of franchises and refused to follow the trend of continually tarting up the shop. He ran on a shoestring budget, doing his own signwriting and even building extensions to the store himself.

He was a hard nut- he wouldn't take cheques, took a hard line on thieves and the under-age could never buy a bottle from him!

The local trust-run (and very expensive) supermarket claims to be there for the community and it is true that they put profits back through donations to charities. But John Chung sold stuff at way cheaper prices- That is what really helps the community!

The rulers of this land could learn from his example- hard work, thrift, no waste and most of all- what helps us most is hanging onto our money, not paying a lot more to maybe receive some back...


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