IGA stocked up for opening

EAST Albury’s fire-ravaged IGA supermarket will reopen next Wednesday with more specialised lines and a promise of lower prices.

Manager JP Mathews said staff were “pretty excited” to be almost back in business.

They have been restocking shelves for the past couple of weeks, with fresh food lines to arrive on Tuesday.

“And then customers will start coming in on Wednesday,” Mr Mathews said.

“It’s a whole new supermarket, a whole new set-up.

“We think the customers are going to like it because it’s going to provide Albury-Wodonga with a genuine alternative.”

About 20 per cent of stock was destroyed in the blaze on January 31, with management and staff having to dispose of all remaining stock before builders moved in.

Police investigations are continuing into the incident, which resulted from a fire being lit in bins at the back of the store at 12.25am.

The fire then spread to a storeroom roof.

Mr Mathews said while the fire was a terrible shock, within hours they were already planning their next step.

“Resilience is a very important quality for anyone in business and life,” he said.

“It’s that ability to stare something in the face and bounce back.

“That’s what we looked at straight away — we could have put our hands up in the air and said it’s all too hard.

“But we thought we had the opportunity to make it a brand new store and make it better than ever.”

Mr Mathews said the new supermarket would have more fresh food, the gluten-free range had been doubled and the gourmet food range extended to a lot of lines not available elsewhere in Albury-Wodonga.

“That is what we’re hoping people will come in and get excited about,” he said.

Mr Mathews said they had also put efficiences into the store that would allow a drop in shelf prices.

“We realised we needed to be more competitive on everyday lines and in order to achieve that we dropped our everyday price on average about 7 per cent,” he said.

Mr Mathews said it was clear that a lot of people cared about having the supermarket in their community.

“We’re getting stopped in the street every day by people saying ‘we miss you and we can’t wait for you to reopen,” he said.

It will host a kids’ fun day on Friday.