N.Z. firm discusses plans with Island Rock

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 14 August 2018, 12:00AM

Online home appliances firm Trade Depot New Zealand is in discussions with local company Island Rock on future plans. 

Trade Depot New Zealand managing director, John Christie, was in Samoa to discuss some future plans with their top distributor and service agent in Samoa, Island Rock Company.

In a recent interview with Samoa Observer, he said they are the Pacific distributors for TCL, Midea, Vogue and other large international manufacturers and added that the Midea brand is now the largest manufacturer of home appliance in the world.

“In addition TCL is in the top five manufacturers of air conditioners in the world and the third largest exporter.

“We are very proud to have Island Rock as our distributor and service agents for the Samoan markets.

“There have been a lot of changes in the regulations around air conditioning and this is one reason but there have been a lot of changes where Samoa now have to adopt the Australian and New Zealand standards for M.E.P.S. which is Minimum Energy Performance Standards.

“Island Rock has taken the initiative to get all its completely new range of the high standard M.E.P.S. Units so I’m working the team of Island Rock to make sure they get the best service,” he said. 

This includes Island Rock’s staff training on in relation to their required performance as well as efficient energy.

“I have arranged to have two of our key staff to come over in the next few weeks and they will be doing technical skills update.

“They will be working with the guys here to show them how to fix these problems.

“Mr. Christie went on to say that most problems they get are small and simple to fix so I will be sending my team here to teach the technical guys here on how they can fix the problem themselves with the person and also on how to do repair and also the telephone support and customer service staff on how people can fix the problem themselves.

“Most air conditions will give you 15 to 20 years of problem free as long as they are maintained properly.

“But from time to time something will happen that does need some fixing up as long as people know how to use them. But we just need to make sure that 100 percent of our customers are satisfied with their purchase. 

Mr. Christie said TCL established in 1981 but their partnership with Island Rock started in 2014.

They started off with large sale of TCL air conditioning and then he met the owner of Island Rock Tuaopepe and then they went straight to discuss their cooperation and from there they are proud to be Samoa’s number one sale of air conditions.

“We want to introduce the best technology say for instance our new air conditioners will have features such as WIFI control where you can control it from your smart phone.

“And so today people can turn off their air conditioners at home we certainly want to make them affordable for our Samoan people and also we want to get energy efficient as high as possible because electricity is quite expensive,” he said. 

Speaking about Trade Depot in New Zealand Mr. Christie said it is the largest online home improvement shop and one of the fastest growing retail businesses in New Zealand.

They are based in Auckland and they currently opened open their second branch in Christchurch and in the following year they will be opening a massive distribution center in Hamilton.

They specialize in bathrooms, kitchens and appliances and air conditioning and their growth has been quite phenomenal in more than 70 percent per year in the last four years.

He went on to say that they are also working with Tuaopepe on getting product website for Island Rock as they are the distributor for Samoa.

“Instead of them just having maybe one hundred or so of our products Samoan people will have access to 2,500 of our products there at excellent prizes,” said Mr. Christie.

“We will be working on it in the next three to six weeks and we hope to have something in the beginning of October.”

Asked how this will benefit Samoa the Managing Director of Trade Depot said it will give the people of Samoa more variety and lower prices.

“Although people might have to wait for three to four weeks to get the product they want but it is guaranteed the best variety of products at incredible prices,” he said.

“But initially the people will have to conduct businesses here at Island Rock but eventually we hope to have that sort of thing in one year’s time.

“But all in all they will be able to choose the item they want using their mobile phones and using a computer and mobile phone or whatever they want.

“I see a lot of people getting worried about the Chinese product and the Chinese merchandise setting up here but we are a reputable company and we stand behind it and Island Rock stand behind the products they sell of ours, so the people of Samoa are able to see and trust the product from Home Depot.

“Not only that people of Samoa can go online and select the items they want pay for it and they can pick it up from Island Rock and even their families in New Zealand can pay for it there and have their family members pick it up from Island Rock.”

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene 14 August 2018, 12:00AM

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