Grand Central second stage opening. Crowds wait for shops to open.
Grand Central second stage opening. Crowds wait for shops to open.

Thousands turn out for opening of Grand Central

THOUSANDS of shoppers poured into the Toowoomba's newest retailers when Grand Central revealed its second stage yesterday.

Eager shoppers were lined up from 7am with stores expected to open at 8am, but there was an almost two-hour delay before retailers opened their doors.

The delay caused frustration for crowds, with some people fuming about the wait time.

However, the long wait appeared to be forgotten as customers rushed into Big W, Kmart and Woolworths.

Big W gave the first 500 customers a $20 gift voucher, Woolworths also gave the first 200 customers a gift voucher and Kmart gave a free gift bag to the first 200 customers who made a purchase.

Gigs at GC performed live music throughout the centre to add to the celebratory atmosphere.

Jessikah Leo and her mum Jen Leo were two of the first people in line at Big W, arriving at 7am.

Mrs Leo said her daughter brought her to the store to claim the $20 voucher.

The regular Big W shopper said she often bought lollies and bedding items like blankets and pillows.

"It's really busy and quite exciting. There are a lot of people here for so early in the morning," Jessikah said.

Yesterday marked a major milestone for the $500 million development with the opening of five new dining options and about 25 retailers.

This stage follows the opening of the retail galleria in September which welcomed about 40 new fashion-focused stores to Toowoomba.

Grand Central centre manager Shaine Beveridge said it was great to see everyone so excited about the centre transforming into a one-stop shop.

"We're happy to be bringing the community together and celebrating this next stage - with something for all shoppers," he said.

"Everyone is really excited that Grand Central is becoming a destination for shopping and dining.

"People won't have to drive around town to get the things they need because it is all right here."

Additional car parking, accessible via Victoria, Little and Duggan Sts, provides the best access to the new stores.

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