Retailers welcome new Coles
THE upgrade and expansion of Yamba Fair's Bi-Lo into a full-scale Coles supermarket is all but complete, and is considered a boon by neighbouring retailers.
The new Coles is bigger, brighter and has an expanded fruit and vegetable section and delicatessen, with a bakery to open soon.
Mick Shepherd, co-owner of the Yamba Fair Butchery, is looking forward to the new store bringing in fresh customers.
“We are not at all worried, if anything it will bring more people to the centre,” he said.
He said a traditional butcher offered a different service to that of the big stores, and that difference would continue.
“Some people like to talk to their butcher and get their steak cut a half inch thick,” he said.
Sue McGragh, manager of Priceline Pharmacy, said a new-look supermarket would be “great for Yamba”, providing shoppers with much-greater variety all within the local area.
It would also entice more customers from Maclean, she said.
Her biggest concern with the upgrade had been the loss of parking spaces and traffic problems caused by construction work, but when this cleared the benefits for all should flow, she said.
Fruit and vegetable vendor Carl Causley's only concern with the upgraded Coles was that it had a new entrance leading straight to the car park that allowed shoppers to bypass the main hall of the centre.
On the whole, the upgraded Coles was “a good thing” and would give the centre a lift because Coles was a better brand than Bi-Lo, he said.
Shoppers either preferred independent retailers or not, and a new-look supermarket wouldn't draw away his established clients, he said.