A big day for local store salwart

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Yesterday was a big day for Brett Latimer.

After 19 years as the store manager at Oamaru’s branch of Smiths City, Mr Latimer has started his new role as the company’s southern regional manager.

Handing over the keys to Kevin Murdoch, Mr Latimer said the new position was “quite a change of role for me”.

Nearing the end of his first full day in the role yesterday, Mr Latimer said he had spent his time as the Oamaru store manager focused on the day-to-day business at the store.

He now covers the company’s stores from Ashburton south – nine in total – and is focused on the “bigger picture”.

And the promotion could not have come at a better time.

After winning retailer of the year from trade publication Wares Magazine last year, Mr Latimer said he was asking “what’s next?”

Getting the nod for the new position about two months ago was therefore quite convenient timing, he said.

“I was obviously thrilled.

“I need a fresh challenge.”

While his new role required a tough mentor approach, Mr Latimer said he was enjoying himself so far.

The role will see him travelling a lot, but he will continue to live in Oamaru.

It was good he could do the role out of Oamaru, he said.

“We’ve been in Oamaru now for 19 years, so we’ve got a lot of roots here.”

Mr Murdoch was a worthy successor to him, he said.

By DAVID DE LOREAN

PHOTO: DAVID DE LOREAN

THE KEYS: Smiths City southern regional manager Brett Latimer (left) hands the keys for the store over to Kevin Murdoch.