Generations with a lot in store

It is a family affair at the Arthur’s Emporium Fieldays stand, with the work spreading across three generations.

Arthur Brasting started his stall at Fieldays 26 years ago, when he had between 20-30,000 rolls of insulation tape to get rid of. The tape is still a big seller in the stall, but is now accompanied by pocket knives, tools, and Poppa Smurf hats.

The team of eight consists of Arthur, his brother and sister in-laws Raewyn and Rod, his son Toby, Toby’s daughter Helen, and three staff members.

The family travelled down from Whangarei, where Arthur’s son Toby runs the 33-year-old Arthur’s Emporium store. They have set up stores from Kaitaia to Tauranga, each under different owners’ first names.

The store name was originally going to be “The house of flaws”, because they only bought surplus and seconds, but Arthur said not everyone would have understood the name. His wife then came up with the new name.

“An emporium is a large collection of goods for sale,” he says, “I guess it could be the originator of the department store.”

They have a new addition to the Fieldays stall this year for people who buy too much and need an extra bag. The bags fold neatly into a small bundle, some in the shape of a rose, that can be clipped onto trousers.

The stores have done particularly well in the last couple of years, despite hard economic times.

“In hard times people go bargain shopping,” says Mr Brasting. Last year they sold 1240 of their quirky animal hats.