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Asians go shopping in Golden Bay

Media Release
Asians go shopping in Golden Bay

New Zealand's growing population of urban-dwelling migrants from Asian countries is going shopping in one of the South Island's smallest and most remote towns.

HealthPost, a mail order business specialising in nutritional supplements and health care products, reports a big surge in business at its Collingwood office and warehouse (right at the tip of the South Island) thanks to orders from IT savvy Chinese and Korean customers.

Linley Butler, who set the business up at home in 1989, says since they went online about three years ago business growth has seen extra staff taken on and a shift into purpose built premises.

"Internet selling really cranked our business up," she says. "The big increase in Asian customers, mainly from Auckland and Wellington, has accounted for a large part of the growth."

Ms Butler says there are several reasons for the boom in this customer base.

"I think they are probably IT savvy and price conscious, and they have a history of using herbal remedies and health supplements, especially marine products," she said. "There seems also to be a lot of Œword of mouth' happening. We know there's a high level of customer satisfaction because they tell usŠthere is a quite a formality to doing business with these clients."

Over the past 16 years HealthPost has grown steadily from the humblest of beginnings. Ms Butler says as a solo-mother, she needed an income.

"I didn't believe in the Benefit and I figured that with a mail order business I could work at night after the kids had gone to bed," she recalls. "I set up a desk in the corner of a living room and a few shelves in an unused wine cellar and it just grew from there."

HealthPost remains a family friendly operation, defying many modern business maxims. The Golden Bay lifestyle is reflected in the relaxed and flexible working environment.

"We have a high level of loyalty from our staff and customers," Ms Butler says. "We know many of our customers on a first-name basis and some have been with us from the beginning. Most of our growth has been through referrals. We have never lost sight of our early emphasis on discounted prices, a range of quality brands and fast and friendly service."

The savings in overheads from operating in a rural town are passed on to customers, and the remote location does not cause delays in dispatch and delivery as this courier-based business boasts a same day turn around and modest freight charges.

"There are a lot of vitamins travelling back and forth across the Takaka Hill these days," Ms Butler says with a smile, "I guess it is a case of today's accessible freight networks and coming together to fill a growing demand for affordable health products."


HealthPost Limited

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