Early trading hours restored at IGA supermarkets

THREE Drake's IGA stores opening their doors for the breakfast rush for at least the past five years were unaware they were breaching state legislation in doing so.

Last week the trading hours at IGA in Calliope, Toolooa and Sun Valley were cut back after an inspector alerted the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to a series of infringements.

But yesterday an exemption was granted to the Calliope, Toolooa and Sun Valley IGA stores that will see trading hours restored.

The exemption comes with stringent conditions.

The general manager of Drake's IGA, Bob Song, said the disruption to trading had been caused by an oversight on his behalf.

"When we took over the business we continued to trade as usual," he said.

"It has been pointed out to us that we were not complying with the requirements of state legislation."

He said 20 Drake's stores across Queensland, including the three in the Gladstone region, would be restructured to ensure they met the classification of an "independent retail store".

Under that classification, the stores will be limited to 20 staff at each site, with no more than 60 people in store at any given time.

"Obviously our customers are not happy and I would like to personally apologise for any inconvenience caused," he said.

"It has been an oversight on our part and we are addressing the problems to restore our hours."

Signage is still absent from the shop windows in Calliope, much to the frustration of regular customer Deneta McAlister.

She was one of a dozen people waiting out the front of the IGA yesterday morning, unaware what time she would be able to shop.

"It was 6.20am when I got there and about five people were waiting," she said.

"By 6.35am there were 8-10 people. Some had already gone home saying they would come back later."

A spokesperson from the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice said: "Drake's IGA understands it was non-compliant, but it is now moving quickly to ensure it complies with the law," it read.

Topics:  gladstone business iga retail supermarket

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