Supermarket noticeboards bridge the gap

Supermarket boards still have a place

Sharing information online is all too easy - assuming you have a computer or smartphone that is.

As the digital divide between those who have the technology and those who don't widens, it turns out the humble supermarket noticeboard is far from extinct.

Keith Slater designed the community noticeboard for supermarkets when he came to New Zealand 23 years ago.

He was waiting at the checkout of a DIY store behind a customer buying a vanity unit when the idea struck.

"They asked to recommend someone to install the vanity unit and the checkout operator didn't know, so the customer said ?there's no point buying it'.

"Then I walked into a supermarket and saw the tattiest noticeboard with pins on the floor.

"I came up with the idea of these noticeboards.

"Then I dealt with Countdown and Foodtown and it all simply grew from that," Slater says.

"There was a need for it, and a need for an original system rather than the indiscriminate thing that was present at most supermarkets at the time."

Slater owns Market Media, the company which produces and maintains community noticeboards for Progressive supermarkets which include Countdown, Supervalue and Freshchoice.

Even with the rise of social media, people still use community noticeboards - and their use is increasing, he says.

"From a community perspective they're brilliant.

"Facebook is an enormous product but when you're talking about a supermarket community noticeboard it's uncomplicated, it's accessible to everybody, it's simple to use and it gets results.

"From that point of view there will always be a demand for it and I don't see that diminishing at all," he says.

"The reality is not everybody is computer literate. Some people still don't have a computer.

"As long as there's a supermarket there will be a community noticeboard."

Source: Fairfax News