High-tech Woolies opens
TODAY, after 13 months of construction, one of the most technologically-advanced Woolworths stores in the country will begin trading at the new shopping complex in Goonellabah.
The store is Australia's first Woolworths to be fitted with "touch-and-pay" technology for credit and debit cards.
"You just flash your card across the screen and your details come up," the store's retail manager David Griffiths explained.
"You don't have to sign for payments under a certain amount."
Goonellabah Woolworth's trolleys have in-built sensors which lock when they're taken beyond the complex's perimeter.
"It should stop trolleys turning up in strange places," Mr Griffiths said.
The store's exterior has been designed to blend in with its surroundings.
"It's a very modern, contemporary building which suits its environment and it isn't an eyesore."
The 3400sq m store is situ- ated next to a McDonald's, Dollars and Cents and Petrol Plus, which also open today. Anytime Fitness, a 24-hour gym at the complex, will start trading in September.
Mr Griffiths said, most importantly, the new complex will create up to 200 new jobs and better prices for local consumers.
"It's been proven in the past where you've had competition through similar shops, it creates lower prices along with more choice, which is a win-win for consumers," he said.
Taia Scofield, 18, begins her first full-time job at Goonellabah Woolworths and hoped it will teach her new skills.
"You need to have organisational and time management skills," Taia said.
"You can't just rush people through; you have to serve the goods as quick as possible while keeping an open demeanour."
Ten Aboriginal locals have been employed to reflect cultural diversity in the area, store manager Ben Gordon said.
At 7.30am today, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell and Member for Lismore Thomas George will give speeches outside the complex before doors open to the public.