Award winning, locally owned & operated variety store in Whitianga, New Zealand.

About Us

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Don’t be fooled by our low prices, quality doesn’t have to cost more!

:: Locally owned & operated ::

PINKY’S BARGAINS is an award winning, unique locally owned and family operated bargain store with an extraordinarily long history and a real point of difference. Chris & Kylie are the fourth successive generation of family retailers and the store is packed with a wide and ever expanding range of clearance, surplus, everyday and just about every other bargain you can think of for people of all ages.

The theme is modern industrial chic and the prices are always sharp.

Pop in, read the history in the foyer, then come on in and enjoy a truly unique shopping experience…

… IT’S WORTH A PEEK AT PINKY’S — THE PRICES WILL TICKLE YOU PINK!

 
 
 
 
 

Information

 
 
 
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STORE HOURS

Monday - Friday: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm

Saturday: 9.00 am - 4.00 pm

Sunday: 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Closed: Good Friday, Anzac Morning & Christmas Day

Extended Hours During Holiday Seasons

PHONE | FAX | EMAIL

+64 7 866 0100

pinkysbargains@gmail.com

LOCATION

1B Lee Street

Whitianga

3510

New Zealand

 
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Our Story

 
 
 
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Our first store opened in 1992… and it all started…

Once upon a time,

many years ago, before the Second World War, a loving son who, after seeking out his estranged Mother, and finding her in less than fortunate circumstances, gave her a gift of £10.00. The times were hard, with a World depression causing havoc and widespread hardship. That son went on to become a business leader in the country and was duly Knighted for his services to business and commerce. His Mother, a progressive thinker who led by example, invested the £10.00 in cakes and confectioneries from Adams Bruce in Auckland. These were sent by train on the main trunk line to Tangarakau where Jessie Stark sold them and re-invested the proceeds in more stock. So, in the darkening shadows of World War 2, the far reaching seeds of a business were planted in a small country town. Jessie’s son, Jack Stark was taken overseas to serve in the army and being a perceptive woman, Jessie knew her son would need activity and occupation upon his return to help him transition from the horrors of war to productive civilian life. With that in mind, whilst in Eltham she was caught in a sudden rainstorm, where she was offered shelter on the verandah of a local resident and in the course of conversation, she asked if there were any businesses for sale in town. She was directed to two spinsters, the Miss Highams, whose small dairy and confectionery store duly became the small beginnings of an enterprise for a now aging Jessie and her son Jack. The business prospered and was soon joined by Jack’s brother-in-law and sister, David and Gilca Pickford. Stark and Pickford quickly became a large and respected grocery enterprise in Taranaki, with the partners’ hard work, sense of fair play and discounted pricing policies attracting customers from all over the province, pre-dating by many years what later became known as supermarkets. Jack Stark was, in turn, honoured with a Queen’s Service Medal for his long years of hard work and charitable services to the community.

The partners were joined by David’s son, Geith Pickford in the mid 1970’s and upon prompting from Geith, Jack agreed to loan seed money for Geith and his wife Shirley to set up and stock a fledgling variety goods business, Pinky’s Bargains in 1992.

This third generation business adopted the slogan “The prices will tickle you pink”, which was adapted from an old family saying, and opened in an abandoned stock and station agents’ building which had been purchased earlier by Jack. Eltham had been hit hard by the effects of ‘Rogernomics’, suffering the closure of many core local businesses. Geith saw this as an opportunity to fill a growing variety of retailing needs in the community and the popularity and rapid growth of the first Pinky’s saw him and Shirley, expand into Whangamata in 1994, where the presence of Pinky’s Bar and Café, saw a change of name take place. Geith and Shirley’s newly named and re-sloganed Whangamata business also prospered which led to them franchising that store and moving to Whitianga to set up a new store and head office in 2003.

The franchise expanded quickly with a third owner-operated store opening in Paeroa in 2005.

In 2007, the franchise group attracted the interest of a purchaser, resulting in the sale of Geith and Shirley’s Whitianga store and their master franchise. Six years later, the availability of their Whitianga building in 2013 presented the opportunity for Geith & Shirley’s son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Kylie to utilize the building to re-launch the Pinky’s Bargains brand in town using a modern format and thereby continuing the family retailing tradition into a fourth generation. The traditional traits of hard work and fair dealing remain the same as those established all those years ago by Jessie Stark, her son Jack, and his business partner David Pickford, with more specific emphasis being devoted to sourcing bargains, clearance lines and surplus stock deals.

…And now you, our customers, become a part of the story as it continues…

…Watch this space!!

 
 
 
 
 

Top Shop

 
 
 
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Think pink:

Pinky’s Bargains wins People’s Choice award in Hamilton Top Shop

By Sarah Dunn

“It is a bargain store but we call it ‘industrial chic’,” says Shirley Pickford.

Pickford gave an emotional speech when she accepted the award from sponsor The Hits. She praised her son and his wife for their bravery in leaving Melbourne to return to New Zealand, and said how much she appreciated the opportunity to help with Pinky’s.

“We’re there with them. We enjoy every day when we open the doors, and we feel extremely lucky that the four of us work incredibly well together and play off each others strengths.”

Shirley Pickford attributed Pinky’s Bargains’ popularity to Kylie Pickford’s skill in making customers feel special, and “good old-fashioned values.”

“We still take customers’ goods out to the car for them when they’ve bought so much they can’t carry it all, and that happens on a regular basis,” she said.

The elder Pickfords have been in retail for more than 25 years, and their son is a fourth-generation retailer.

Shirley Pickford also gave a mention to ‘Alley Cat’, a stray who had adopted the Pinky’s team some 18 months ago. She said Alley Cat was a celebrity in Whitianga, and likely had no small part in gaining the store votes.