SYDNEY-based retailer Bing Lee will make its first entry into Victoria when it opens in the former Warehouse Sales building at the Wodonga Homemaker Centre.
Warehouse Sales was an anchor tenant when the centre opened in 2008, but closed without notice last October when the company plunged into liquidation.
The Wodonga store was one of four to close in regional Victoria with another four shutting in Melbourne.
Bing Lee general manager Phil Moujaes said the company was aiming to open in Wodonga in April.
“It is going to take us a while to build the store with all the Bing Lee fixtures, fittings and displays,” he said.
“At this stage we are looking at sometime in April.
“It is a sizeable market if you put the two towns together.
“Bing Lee is a strong and iconic brand in NSW and we believe it is a good opportunity in the Albury-Wodonga area.”
The Wodonga Warehouse Sales store was operated by Anthony Cowan, who was overseas on holiday when the company collapsed, leaving a trail of disgruntled customers.
He declined to comment on any involvement with the Bing Lee store when contacted yesterday.
Bing Lee is expected to employ more than 15 staff in one of the biggest buildings within the Wodonga Homemaker Centre on Anzac Parade.
“The store is about 1600 square metres and will require a good number of staff,” Mr Moujaes said.
“We will be there for the long term.”
Bing Lee and homemaker developer Bill Perry recently signed off on the deal to take over the former Warehouse Sales building.
Bing Lee was founded in 1957 and has 40 stores in Sydney and regional NSW which generate a turnover of $490 million.
Sixteen of the stores are operated as franchises.
It specialises in whitegoods, air conditioners, cooking appliances, computers and telecommunications goods, similar to Warehouse Sales.