An early start couldn’t dampen the spirits of Wodonga residents who gathered outside Mann Central Shopping Centre’s new Kmart and Coles for their grand openings.
Kmart Wodonga’s launch was especially seasonal with the first item purchased a Christmas tree, while margarine was the first item sold in Coles.
Self-confessed ‘Kmart mum’ Tammi Price woke her three children up early to arrive at Kmart at 6.30am ahead of the 8am opening.
“I love everything in Kmart,” she said.
“I’m here in particular to buy a vacuum cleaner that’s sold out everywhere.
“The children want a couple of toys they picked out and then we’ll be looking through the home-wares!”
Inside the store, Miss Price managed to wrangle a vacuum cleaner among other things but was blown away by the new store.
“I love it, it’s a beautiful store,” she said.
Sylvia Britt and Rachel Jacobs both arrived early to be front of line for the opening, bonding over their excitement as they waited for the 8am opening.
“I always go to Kmart in Albury and now I don’t have to travel I can do it all here,” Mrs Jacobs said.
“I’m so happy it’s here, it’s been great waiting and chatting to all the ladies.”
Mrs Britt didn’t come to the opening to buy anything in particular but said there was a chance her trolley would filled up with gifts for her great-grandson.
Outside Coles, residents queued to grab the first glimpse of the new-style store with it’s fresh flatbread and olive station.
Andrea Doyle and daughter Lily said she was excited to see the development in Wodonga.
“It’s an exciting day, it’s great for Wodonga especially all the job opportunities,” she said.
Inside Coles, Monique Marshall said she didn’t expect to be excited by a new supermarket but was very impressed.
“I love it,” she said.
“I love the set out, I love the wide shelves which will be great to get prams in and out.
“It’s very exciting.”
Coles member Jeanette Farrelly worked at the Wodonga High Street store for 30 years and said the move was great.
“I love it, it’s an awesome space, very friendly and open,” she said.
“I still remember the old blue uniform like a sack.
“I worked at Mann Central when it was a supermarket, so I started there and will likely finish here too.”