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Fifty years of milestones marked in style for rural retailer

Wednesday November 28, 2012

Fifty years of milestones marked in style for rural retailer Farmlands
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The party’s almost over but the milestones continue as Farmlands winds up its 50th birthday celebrations by giving away a car worth more than $50,000. Alfredton sheep and beef farmers Ben and Debs Morrison won a brand new Ford XR6 valued at $53,990 and according to Farmlands Pahiatua staff member Sue Devonport, the pair were “gobsmacked” when they found out they had won.

“I called up to speak to them but they were up docking lambs, so I went out to see them. I had them on for a bit reminding them the competition was being announced that day. I asked them if they won what colour they would choose.”

They admitted it would be nice but they’d never won anything like that. “So I said when you’ve finished docking you better decide what colour you’d like. Let’s just say it took a long time for it to sink in but eventually they were bouncing around like jackrabbits,” said Mrs Devonport. The giveaway was part of the 50 days of savings promotion held over October and November to celebrate Farmlands’ 50-year milestone.

Farmlands was established when a group of entrepreneurial farmers and growers joined forces to secure the best possible prices on rural supplies for their farms and orchards. Their two objectives were to supply Shareholders with products and services at a lower everyday price and to deliver long-term Shareholder returns.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Ellis said the promotions and celebrations overall were a real success attracting a significant increase in foot traffic into Farmlands branches. “The retail promotion was a really good way of reacquainting our Shareholders and Farmlands card holders with their local stores.” He said more than 47,000 prizes were redeemed through its 47 stores and it was a great way of acknowledging and celebrating five decades of growth and success over the past 50 years. As part of its celebrations Farmlands also hosted a gala dinner at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House. The first 100 Shareholders, current and previous board members and executive team members were invited as well as long serving staff members. Mr Ellis says while not all of the original members Shareholders could make it, the final number was slightly over 200. “We were fortunate enough to have the wives of two of our founding Shareholders, Shareholder two Mrs Cranswick and Shareholder five Mrs Robertshawe, in attendance as well as many other early member Shareholders.” Farmlands’ current and three former CEOs and current and three former chairmen also joined the celebrations.

MEDIA RELEASE: Farmlands Trading Society Limited Fifty years of milestones marked in style for rural retailer Farmlands “I think that the four CEOs had a combined service of over 40 years. It was a great opportunity for old friends and colleagues to catch-up, reminisce and enjoy some key milestones of the last 50 years. Overall it was a fantastic evening and a fitting way to celebrate our 50th.” Farmlands branches also invited Shareholders to watch the Melbourne Cup at their local branch in November.

Celebratory memorabilia included the production of a book documenting the company’s history called Our Story – Celebrating 50 Years of Farmlands.

Shareholders were also sent a boxed tea towel, which people felt was a nice touch, said Mr Ellis.

“It was a proud time for all involved and a fitting tribute to the journey so far. There’s a real sense of achievement and growth heading into the future,” he said. A snapshot of Farmlands’ 2011/2012 financial performance: annual turnover increased by 13 per to $773 million.

pre-tax profits before loyalty rebates were similar to the previous year at around $5.5 million. rebates to members increased by 23 per cent ($3.7 million) to $50.4 million shareholder numbers increased by 925 to 27,925.

47 stores throughout the North Island, and on-track to have 50 stores by the end of 2013.

www.farmlands.co.nz

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