THOUSANDS of curious and eager customers flowed into the new ALDI store in Mount Gambier yesterday for its grand opening.
More than 200 people – many pushing trolleys – queued at the front entrance before the doors swung open at 8.30am for ALDI’s long awaited arrival in the Blue Lake city.
Within minutes, aisles were crammed with shoppers keen to grab a bargain or experience the ALDI shopping phenomenon.
The designated ALDI carpark was also full as well as parking spaces along the Commercial Street East.
The development – which sits on the former iconic Fidler and Webb department – is expected to rejuvenate the retail sector in the precinct.
James and Nadine Chadderton – who queued outside the new store yesterday – said they were excited ALDI now had a presence in Mount Gambier.
“It is so cheap compared with other stores,” Mr Chadderton told The Border Watch yesterday.
“We would usually travel to ALDI stores in Hamilton or Portland.”
An ALDI spokesperson said yesterday the company was thrilled with the community’s response.
“We were delighted to see an overwhelmingly positive customer response to the ALDI Mount Gambier opening,” the spokesperson said.
“It has been a rewarding journey to bring our unique shopping experience to local residents.
“ALDI Mount Gambier staff are thrilled with the response of the community and look forward to serving local residents into the future.”
Up to 20 permanent full and part-time employees are working in the store, which is one of the quickest ALDI stores built in South Australia.
The new store is part of a $6.8m development at the prominent Commercial Street East site, which also includes the construction of four additional shops.
Construction of these retail spaces continues at the site.
“We’re excited to be opening our new store in Mount Gambier and look forward to showing local residents the difference ALDI can make to their wallets and lifestyles,” ALDI managing director Viktor Jakupec said.
He said the Mount Gambier store features a number of innovations that would offer an enhanced shopping experience for customers.
These include better product displays, improved navigation, a modern interior store, redesigned shelving, expanded wooden produce bays, as well as extended energy efficient chillers.
With energy management remaining a key priority for ALDI, the store also solar panels as well as energy efficient LED lighting.
“We offer a supermarket experience that is like no other in Australia and it’s our differences that allow us to bring unbeatable value to our customers every day,” Mr Jakupec said.
There will also be improved point-of-sale displays and store signage.
Construction on the $12m Coles Supermarket project – behind the ALDI store – will begin early next year.
This shopping centre will house 10 speciality retail spaces.