Woolies on home straight
IT’S BEEN a rocky road, but Mullumbimby’s Woolworths supermarket is almost complete and ready for business.
A small army of tradies has been putting the finishing touches to the building this week, as staff inside pack shelves and learn the ropes in preparation for the store’s opening on Wednesday.
The supermarket giant’s arrival in town may have divided the community, but there’s little doubt the investment in Mullumbimby is giving the local economy a boost.
Store manager Wayne McInerney said the new supermarket and liquor store had already employed 23 permanent staff from the former Mallams Supermarket, as well as 30 casual staff from the surrounding area. Numbers are expected to grow as the store establishes itself.
Many more have been employed during the construction phase.
Mr McInerney said the store would stock some local products, including Byron Bay Coffee, Byron Bay Honey and Byron Bay Chilli Company Corn Chips. Mullumbimby also would be the only Woolworths in the country to stock products from Lismore-based health food manufacturer, Mike’s Real Foods.
Mr McInerney said the 2500 sqm store was bigger than the Byron Bay Woolworths and would give shoppers plenty of room to move.
It has been beautified with hardwood timber panelling around the car park in direct response to concerns from the council and community about aesthetics. “It’s a very nice-looking building,” he said.
It also has environmentally friendly features, including an onsite sewage system, which will process waste water from the supermarket for reuse in the store’s toilets and to water the gardens.
The opening on Wednesday will be followed by a family fun day next Saturday.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the store would bring many benefits to Mullumbimby.
“Instead of local residents driving elsewhere to do their major grocery shopping the new Woolies will keep more shopping in town,” he said.