IT WAS the day many grocery shopping fans had waited a long time for and the opening of Tamworth’s newest supermarket didn’t disappoint.
For fans of German supermarket chain Aldi, yesterday meant the end of two-hour journeys to Muswellbrook (our closest store) with the opening of the store in Centrepoint Shopping Centre.
There were cheers and applause as the door opened and the first shoppers made their way into the new supermarket.
Electronics were a favourite for bargain hunters with Aldi’s tablets, DVD players and televisions being wheeled out the door by those first through the checkouts.
Aldi area manager Sarah Worthington said an Aldi for Tamworth had been “a long time coming”, but they expected it to be a popular store.
“Tamworth shoppers have been making the journey to Muswellbrook and Rutherford stores and have always been vocal about wanting their own store,” she said.
“We are looking forward to seeing our committed customers and introducing new ones to the store. This is an exciting opportunity and we are really happy.”
Tamworth shoppers enjoyed opening electronics specials with more to come on Saturday including tools and barbecues, which are exclusive to the Tamworth store.
“With the hot weather, we’re expecting the barbecues to be popular,” Ms Worthington said.
“To cope with the extra demand this week, we have extra staff helping us from Newcastle, but we have recruited locals and have been training them in the Hunter.”
Aldi fans Trish and Rex Urquhart were among the first shoppers through the door of the new store.
“We’ve kept up our shopping each time we’ve been through Muswellbrook or visiting our daughters (near Wollongong and on the Central Coast),” Mrs Urquhart said.
“I love their marmalades, lemon and lime jam and mustards.”
A television had pride of place in their trolley, which Mr Urquhart said would be used for watching the cricket during happy hour in his outdoor area.
Ms Worthington said the company had always been looking to move into the New England, but they had to make the “numbers work” for the store because their distribution centre was in Minchinbury in western Sydney.
“Tamworth is such a big area and we really wanted to be represented,” she said.
Opening day was such a success that Centrepoint had to put the “car park full” signs up throughout the day.