The History of Scott & Ricketts Mitre10

50 Years in the Making

Scott & Ricketts is a family owned and operated business and has been a part of the Hawke's Bay community since 1961.  The story began in Taradale when Derek and Audrey Ricketts joined a Mr. Bert Scott who ran a small paint and glazing shop.  In 1963 Bert Scott sold his half share in the company.  Over the 1960’s and 70’s the business grew and the store was expanded a number of times.  Mitre10 was formed in New Zealand in 1974 with Scott & Ricketts joining the group the following year as one of the first provincial members.  In the early 1980’s Derek & Audrey’s sons, Graeme and Stephen, joined the business fulltime.

Graeme and Stephen have always been a part of the business.  “As after school boys we packed nails in the garage at home, filled turps bottles in the dangerous goods store and helped count stock at the end of the financial year.  At Christmas time we helped with gift wrapping”

By 1981 it was time to expand.  First, a new store was opened in Dickens St in Napier and then the two Mitre10 stores in Hastings were acquired and added to the family stable.  With the expansion Graeme & Stephen (or “the boys” as people like to call us) moved away from individual store management into roles supporting the overall business. Graeme became responsible for Marketing and Administration and Stephen for Purchasing and for maintaining, refurbishing and rebuilding the company Properties.

In the 90’s expansion continued at a rapid pace. The Heretaunga Street Hastings store became one of the first Mitre 10 Home Centres, opened by The Wizard from Christchurch.   The queue for the opening stretched for a block and a half!  1994 saw the relocation of the Karamu Road store into Havelock North with the purchase of Bridgeman’s Building Supplies. This was the company’s first move into the timber and building-trade market.

By the mid-90’s the Ricketts family had stores in Napier, Taradale, Hastings and Havelock North.  They thought they had achieved the ultimate solution to serving Hawke’s Bay.  But nothing stays still very long in retail and by the turn of the century the store in Heretaunga St was too small and there was not sufficient land adjacent to allow expansion.  After studying the international trend for Home Improvement it was clear the Company needed to build a “Big Box” to accommodate huge ranges and extensive car-parking.  The Ricketts family went shopping for a suitable site and ended up buying a Brewery – the old Leopard Brewery which had been disused for some years.

In February 2004, the first Mitre10 MEGA in NZ was opened in St Aubyn St Hastings.  From the outset the store was a success.  Customers who had developed a taste for Big Box shopping at supermarkets and at The Warehouse, flocked to the store.  Not only did the store stock larger quantities of traditional hardware product but new categories were introduced. The store became a true one-stop Home Improvement store.  In 2006 the Ricketts family opened their second MEGA store in Napier.  With two huge stores in the Bay, complete with world-class garden centres and under-cover Drive Thru’s it was time to get serious about Trade business.  With a dedicated team Scott & Ricketts Mitre10 is now one of Hawke's Bays major trade suppliers working with a wide variety of Trade clients from small one-man operators to large commercial customers.

By the late 2000’s it became obvious that the Hastings store was too small!  “We couldn’t fit it all in and we weren’t meeting customer expectations” says Graeme, so the family set out to find a new site and in 2010 purchased 2.2 hectares of land on the old Nelson Park site.  Following a “massive 4-day shift” from the St Aubyn St site, the new store opened in October 2011.

Not one’s to sit still, the Ricketts family have also established Mitre10 MEGA stores in Kapiti (also in 2011) and in Westgate, north-west Auckland (2014).  In 2015 Audrey and Derek were inducted into the Mitre10 Hall of Fame in recognition of the commitment, dedication and contribution that they have made to the Mitre10 group.

Being a part of Hawke's Bay is a very important to the family.  While Derek was born in the UK he emigrated to NZ in his 20’s – chasing a HB girl named Audrey.  The Ricketts family are proud to call Hawke's Bay home.  “Being local means we know and understand what our customers want and although we are a part of the national Mitre10 network, we are able to adjust our offer to suit the needs of local people.  We take pride in being a part of the community, love getting feedback and are committed to making continuous improvements to customer experience”.

The business now employs around 200 people locally and many of the team have been with the Ricketts family for many years.  Training and culture are key elements of the business philosophy – the mantle “treat others as you would want to be treated yourself” a key pillar in the business.  With dedicated people who are continually undergoing training and who are happy in their work environment the Scott & Ricketts team strive to deliver superior customer service.

As a part of the local community, Scott & Ricketts Mitre10 is dedicated to providing significant sponsorship.  The annual Mega Walk has seen over $120,000 donated to Canteen to support their activities in Hawke's Bay.  The annual Tough Kids Challenge (based on the Top Town competition) provides local school children with the opportunity to compete for the honour of Toughest School.  The business also supports Child Cancer (Trucking with Cancer event), the Neurological Foundation, Breathe (Asthma Foundation), HB Rugby Union, Hohepa, Port Hill Junior Soccer Club, Menz Shed and many more.

And so the story continues…………..

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