New su­per­mar­ket to o­pen in Aberdeen

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Aberdeen -

ABERDEEN — Ex­ci­ting t­hings are hap­pe­ning in the cen­t­re of Aberdeen, and the old Ver­s­pei­ders buil­ding has been com­ple­te­ly re­vam­ped and mo­der­ni­sed in­si­de in pre­pa­ra­ti­on for its launch as a U­sa­ve su­per­mar­ket la­ter this y­e­ar.

For o­ver twen­ty y­e­ars Ver­sprei­ders, al­so kno­wn as Hy­per­foods, e­ar­ned and main­tai­ned a re­pu­ta­ti­on for sup­plying stap­le pro­ducts at re­a­so­na­ble pri­ces to Aberdeen re­si­dents and the far­ming com­mu­ni­ty.

E­ar­ly last y­e­ar the o­w­ners, Paul and S­ha­ron Land­man, sold the buil­ding in an­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of t­heir re­ti­re­ment to Har­ten­bos but con­ti­nu­ed to run the sto­re the­re until Oc­to­ber, w­hen the buil­ding be­ca­me emp­ty.

P­re­to­ria-ba­sed bu­si­nes­sman Roe­lof van der Mer­we, who has strong roots in Aberdeen, boug­ht the buil­ding, and work star­ted in e­ar­nest e­ar­lier this y­e­ar to re­sto­re the faça­de and up­gra­de the in­te­ri­or.

Rumours a­boun­ded in the to­wn as to ex­act­ly w­hat van der Mer­we was going to do with the buil­ding, but it soon be­ca­me kno­wn that a U­sa­ve sto­re would be o­pe­ning on the pro­per­ty, with i­ni­ti­al es­ti­ma­tes that it would o­pen in March.

The par­king a­rea out­si­de the buil­ding was re­sur­fa­ced at an e­ar­ly sta­ge, and lo­cal re­si­dents wa­t­ched with in­te­rest and ap­pro­val as the rat­her ti­red-look­ing ex­te­ri­or was spru­ced up, with at­ten­ti­on to de­tail on the sto­ne­work and fresh paint.

New pa­li­sa­de fen­cing was e­rected a­round the buil­ding, in a sty­le in keeping with the pe­ri­od, and se­cu­re stora­ge a­re­as we­re cre­a­ted out­si­de for trol­leys.

It is the in­si­de ho­we­ver w­he­re the most dras­tic chan­ges can be seen. As S­hop­ri­te wan­ted a mo­re o­pen spa­ce, the buil­ders had to com­ple­te­ly ta­ke out all the in­si­de walls, and hu­ge cas­tel­la­ted steel be­ams we­re fit­ted to car­ry the in­si­de weig­ht of the roof struc­tu­re. The fi­nis­hed pro­duct is a big­ger re­tail a­rea with an ex­ten­ded re­cei­ving and prep a­rea on the si­de w­he­re new cold rooms and free­zer rooms still need to be fit­ted.

The­re is al­so a new staff toi­let and kit­chen a­rea at the back of the sto­re. In the pro­cess, the buil­ders had to dig a new drain to ac­com­pa­ny the new bathroom a­rea, which in­vol­ved a fair a­mount of dig­ging in G­rey S­treet.

For se­cu­ri­ty pur­po­ses, all the in­si­de doors and win­dows had to be clo­sed off by brick. Ho­we­ver, the old shut­ters and doors we­re left in pla­ce, ad­ding cha­rac­ter to the out­si­de of the buil­ding. The buil­ders had to ta­ke out all the old ce­ment floor­ing and re­do all the floors. New floor ti­les and cei­lings we­re in­stal­led, the e­lec­tri­cal in­stal­la­ti­on had to be re­pla­ced, and new wa­ter con­necti­ons es­ta­blis­hed.

T­hey al­so had to build a very well se­cu­red back of­fi­ce from w­he­re the co­re of the s­hop will be ma­na­ged.

“W­hat I thoug­ht would be a quick and small pro­ject be­ca­me a hu­ge o­ver­haul of this mag­ni­fi­cent old buil­ding. I be­lie­ve this cen­t­re sto­ne of Aberdeen will be of his­to­ri­cal va­lue for a­not­her cen­tu­ry to co­me” said van der Mer­we.

U­sa­ve is a di­vi­si­on of S­hop­ri­te, and is the group’s youn­ge­st su­per­mar­ket chain, fo­cus­sing pri­ma­ri­ly on the needs of lo­wer-in­co­me cu­s­to­mers. Ac­cor­ding to t­heir web­si­te,”… the brand re­mo­ves the cost of pack­a­ging and re­gu­lar sto­re frills and trim­mings and pas­ses this sa­ving on to the cu­s­to­mer. This gi­ves cu­s­to­mers the price ad­van­ta­ge as­so­ci­a­ted with bulk buying, wit­hout the need to buy in bulk.”

Van der Mer­we con­fir­med that the s­hop will sell the nor­mal su­per­mar­ket li­nes, in­clu­ding gro­ce­ries, toi­le­tries, fruit & ve­ge­ta­bles, e­lec­tro­ni­cs and sta­ti­o­ne­ry. To the di­sap­point­ment of ma­ny, the­re will be no ba­ke­ry, but the u­su­al su­per­mar­ket brands of bre­ad will be a­vai­la­ble. The­re will al­so not be an in-sto­re but­chery, but fro­zen me­at will be stoc­ked. Al­so in the sto­re will be a Mo­ney Mar­ket ki­osk w­he­re cu­s­to­mers can trans­fer funds, buy bus tic­kets, cash go­vern­ment pa­youts, and buy ba­sic o­ver-the-coun­ter me­di­ca­ti­on.

Ac­cor­ding to S­hop­ri­te, t­hey will start with the shop­fit­ting this month and plan to o­pen for bu­si­ness on F­ri­day, Sep­tem­ber 1. A­ber­do­ni­ans are e­a­ger­ly a­wai­ting that date!

The spru­ced up ex­te­ri­or of w­hat will soon be Aberdeen’s U­sa­ve.

Con­trac­tor Jo­han­nes M­thi­munye in the ca­ver­nous buil­ding, which stret­ches from Voor­trek­ker Squa­re rig­ht through to G­rey S­treet.

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