Doors open on new Tamworth supermarket

TAMWORTH'S newest supermarket opens its doors this morning, one of the first stores to welcome customers at the revamped $12.5 million Southgate shopping centre.

The 2800-square metre Coles store which is three times bigger than the Bi-Lo it replaced is the largest Coles in the city and the newest Coles supermarket in Australia.

About eight semi-trailer loads of fresh food have been trucked in ahead of the big day, an event staff members have been preparing the store for since October 1.

Nightfill employees worked throughout last night to continue getting ready, while daytime staff were on the job at 4am this morning to get the last deliveries on the shelves.

The new store employs about 110 people and more than 100 of them are locals.

"We've got an outstanding team, every single person has been recruited because they've shown us they've got a passion for working with customers and food," store manager Mel Smith-Marshall said.

Mrs Smith-Marshall said there was a lot of excitement surrounding the opening of the new store and it would be good for South Tamworth residents to have better access to the variety of a large supermarket.

The supermarket includes a delicatessen, butcher and in-house bakery, and is the first in Tamworth to stock the supermarket's MIX clothing range.

The Liquorland bottle shop also opens today.

The new Southgate centre also houses a post office which has been open throughout construction in a temporary building and specialty shops, including a butchery, pharmacy and food shop.

The redevelopment of the shopping centre was approved 13 months ago and demolition on the old centre began last November.

Within the coming weeks Tamworth will also welcome a JB Hi-Fi, an Aldi supermarket, the rebuilt Stetsons restaurant, and a Toyworld store to the city.

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