Low-key opening for Woolworths

THE controversial new Woolworths at Mullumbimby had a low-key opening this morning bringing to an end an almost decade-long saga.

Despite some low-level vandalism at the shop over the past few days, the shop was opened without a whimper of protest.

Twenty-eight staff from Mallams, the former independent grocer that owned the Woolworths site, have been employed at the new supermarket.

Store manager Wayne McInerney said the new store had been designed specifically for Mullumbimby.

“The Woolworths in Mullumbimby has a new format with many features that in the future will be commonplace in all Woolies’ stores including a greater focus on fresh food, information on where in Australia that produce comes from and an energy efficient store design,” he said.

“One of the most exciting things about the new concept store is that we are connecting our customers directly with our fresh producers as much as possible. With more than 97% of our fresh produce sourced from Australia the store will highlight the wonderful seasonality of Aussie produce, our growers, their regions and the best uses for their products.”

“We’ve added some special touches just for Mullum including the use of hardwood timber panelling in response to community calls to reduce the visual impact of the building and we’ve also tried to have a choice of locally produced Byron Shire produce such as Byron Bay coffee, corn chips and honey.

“Woolworths in Mullum will also be the only Woolies to stock products from Lismore-based health food manufacturer, Mike’s Real Foods.”

The decision to allow Woolworths to open in  Mullumbimby has been controversial after concerns from some protesters of the effect the grocery chain would have on other local businesses.

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