The YOU Ferrymead team… Tanya Cross, Melissa Landrebe, Brittany Frost, Janelle Buchanan The YOU Ferrymead team… Tanya Cross, Melissa Landrebe, Brittany Frost, Janelle Buchanan

Rising from quakes and Covid – CHC retailer’s fresh new beginning

YOU Ferrymead’s move into a new shop recently is more than a change of bricks and mortar – it is also a tangible sign of a new beginning for the business.

‘It is the next stage in leaving behind what we have been through,’ says managing director Melissa Landrebe.

For the Ferrymead agency, the upheaval began long before Covid.

‘We have been in a 100 square metre purpose built Portacom for the last 10 years, after we lost our building in the earthquake,’ says Landrebe.

The portable structure was put in front of the existing building, which was literally pulled down around the YOU team.

‘I owned the land and was planning to redeveloped, but with Covid it all became too overwhelming. So I sold the property, but we were allowed to stay two more years.’

That arrangement was to come to an end in July this year, but Landrebe found premises in time to be out earlier.

‘This site was available (at 1005 Ferry Road). It was a gym so we totally stripped it back, put in new walls and refurbished it.’

Landrebe says that like most agents in the industry, the shop is now extremely busy - a situation YOU Ferrymead is handling due largely to having the core team retained since the pandemic hit.

‘During Covid we contracted to all sorts of businesses and the team alternated between the Portacom and home.’

She says the first contract was a tree care specialist, applying the skills learnt in travel to that company’s sales and working on growing its residential business.

‘Then we worked for a heat pump company, trying to help them grow their business. One of the team members worked in car finance and we all did contract tracing behind the scenes. Despite all this we were always open as a travel agency.

‘That way we always knew we could upscale the travel when we needed to and downsize the other work.’

Landrebe notes the high level of premium sales as the industry gets back on its feet – the day TRAVELinc memo visited, YOU Ferrymead had sold four premium economy and two business class tickets in the previous four hours. She says people realise they are paying higher prices than they previously would and most of her clients are happy to do it.

‘They know that there are capacity demands and pressure on pricing so they expect it. People have lost two years of their life, now they think: ‘Actually, I am going to do it.’’

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