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Lighter and brighter ... Oamaru's Trade Aid manager Delwyn Cox says the store is a "lovely'' place to be, following a revamp.

A new-look Trade Aid shows the company believes Oamaru is worth investing in, manager Delwyn Cox says.

The Thames St shop reopened on Monday after being closed since September 20 for a complete re-fit.

The project included new paint, carpet, lighting, signage and display fixtures. The capitals on the veranda pillars had also been restored by Mrs Cox’s husband Wayne.

Mrs Cox was “really excited” about the change.

“It’s so light, bright and inviting,” she said.

Although the store had just reopened after the Covid-19 lockdown, the decision was made by Trade Aid chief executive Geoff White and the Oamaru shop’s trust to continue with the planned renovations, Mrs Cox said.

“It’s nice they really believe in the Oamaru store – that it’s worth investing in our town.”

Trade Aid first opened in Oamaru in 1992, across the road from where it was now. It moved to the current premises in May 2000.

“A refit was done then, and this is the next one.”

Mrs Cox had been store manager for 13 years, “and I still love it so much”.

Hers was a paid part-time job, and the shop also had 16 volunteers helping to run it.

“I really want to acknowledge the help of my amazing volunteers – they are so supportive and we work as a team. It’s always a team effort,” she said.

She loved the work place, and everybody was there because they wanted to be, not because they had to be.

“It’s a lovely environment to work in.”

Trade Aid was a New Zealand company started by Christchurch couple Vi and Richard Cotrill in 1973, after they worked with Tibetan refugees in Northern India for two years.

The aim was to help talented people around the world better their lives through fair trade. The company worked with artisans and producers from 30 countries.

Each store was run by its own local trust and Oamaru’s was presently on the lookout for a new secretary, Mrs Cox said.