Ballina's new 'Little' Woolies on track for an early opening
THE new Little Woolies store in River St, Ballina, could be open weeks earlier than expected.
The original store was badly damaged by a fire in December 2011, with more than $1 million worth of stock destroyed in the blaze.
A development application for the new building was approved by Ballina Shire Council in August last year.
Work on the new $6 million store has been progressing steadily and a spokeswoman from Woolworths yesterday confirmed that it was "on track".
"Everything is going really well," she said.
"We are now in the process of fitting out the supermarket and work is also continuing on the external car park, painting and landscaping.
"It is expected that stock will start arriving in early November.
"But the best news is that we are now hoping to be open by late November, or early December.
"We definitely want to have the store open before Christmas."
The spokeswoman said the store was originally slated to be open by late December, but said work was now ahead of schedule.
The new Little Woolies store is 1000sq m bigger than its predecessor and, once it opens, will employ 80 people - 22 more than it did before the 2011 fire.
It was previously revealed that the new store has been built to "latest Woolworths designs" and will feature a pizza bar, at which customers can buy pizzas made fresh in store.
The supermarket will have the car park at the rear, unlike the old store, which had car parking at the front of the building.
Little Woolies will also have self-serve checkouts.
Retailers in the town centre are looking forward to the reopening because of Woolworths' "multiplier effect".