Dan Murphy's to open in Lismore

THE Woolworths onslaught on the Northern Rivers continues with the giant retailer winning approval to open one of its popular Dan Murphy’s liquor stores in Lismore.

Councillors approved the $2 million-plus development on Tuesday night that will front on to Ballina and Ewing streets and involve the demolition of three houses.

The existing liquor licence held by BWS in Dawson Street will be transferred to Dan Murphy’s once the development is complete. It will employ 20 full-time staff.

The approval follows a similar application to build a Dan Murphy’s outlet under the Dendy Cinema complex at Byron Bay.

Byron Shire Council has yet to decide on that application.

Woolworths community relations manager Simon Berger said yesterday the economic and demographic profile of the Northern Rivers suited the company’s growth plans.

Parent company Woolworths has long planned to build a supermarket at Mullumbimby and last month confirmed it was in negotiations with Lismore City Council to purchase vacant land in Goonellabah to build a supermarket near rival Coles.

Also on the cards is a new home improvements retailer to compete with Bunnings.

Woolworths recently acquired Australia’s second-largest hardware distributor and entered into a joint venture with US-based Lowe’s as it prepares to enter the $24 billion hardware sector in competition with the Coles-owned Bunnings.

While stressing that no decision had been made, Mr Berger said he would be surprised if one the 150 new hardware outlets planned over the next five years was not located somewhere on the Northern Rivers.

Two councillors – Simon Clough and Vanessa Ekins – voted against the Dan Murphys’ development application at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

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