ALMOST four weeks since Emerald’s Market Plaza shopping centre was inundated with a metre of floodwater, Coles opened the doors to its temporary store at the Emerald PCYC at 9am yesterday.
With no refrigeration facilities, the store will stock 200 product lines including essentials such as toiletries, baby products, and non perishables and household goods such as tinned and packet food, long life milk, softdrinks, bread, and toilet rolls. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 8am until 6pm.
“We had 54 pallets of stock arrive on Monday morning and staff spent the whole day unloading,” said Emerald Coles store manager Darrin Simpson.
“All the stock has been taken out of the other store. We’re just waiting for a team to come up and rip out all the fixtures.”
Run by employees from the Market Plaza store, the temporary Coles is complete with cash registers and scanners with eftpos facilities.
“It’s important to make sure people have the opportunity to get the essentials they need,” Mr Simpson said.
“There will be more trucks arriving to restock us on Wednesday morning. The roads are all open again now so there are no problems with resupplying.”
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Peter Maguire said it was important to be flexible to keep shops in the region trading wherever possible.
“Normally you certainly wouldn’t have a shop trading from a PCYC shed but these are extraordinary circumstances so when Coles rang me and asked if I knew of anywhere, I thought, ‘why not the PCYC shed?’,” Cr Maguire said.
“It keeps people in jobs and gives consumers a choice. It also takes the pressure of the other stores, where we have seen some shortages in the last couple of weeks.
“The biggest problem here is the parking but as long as people don’t park in driveways and take their time, they can come in, see what’s here and take advantage of it.”
CHRC Deputy Mayor Paul Bell said supermarkets across the region were two to three weeks away from being “anything like normal”.
“Woolworths stores across the region were using aircraft to get food delivered throughout the flood crisis,” he said.
“Food and fuel supplies are now okay, and with the road to Rockhampton opening over the weekend, we believe there will be a new opportunity to secure supplies of fresh milk and bread, so that will take the pressure off stores.
“Fruit and vegetable supplies are going to be difficult, with rain events over the past few weeks devastating some suppliers’ crops.”
“Normally you certainly wouldn’t have a shop trading from a PCYC shed but these are extraordinary circumstances.” Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Peter Maguire
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