Gladstone shoppers splurge as thousands descend on ALDI
GLADSTONE shoppers have dispelled the myth that retail in the industrial city is dead as thousands flocked through the doors at the grand opening of ALDI Gladstone.
Wave after wave of keen bargain hunters descended on the most northern ALDI store in Australia, filling their shopping trolleys to the brim with a mixture of everyday staples and unconventional items the supermarket chain has become famous for since starting up in Australia.
Shoppers spent up big with many receipts showing a bottom line well into the hundreds of dollars, as Gladstone residents proved if you build it the shoppers will come.
The much-anticipated opening of the new supermarket, that has it origins in Germany, also struck a chord with the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce which declared it a "positive" thing.
"I think it's been tremendous, I've been watching it all happening on Facebook and social media," Chamber vice president Rick Hansen said.
"It's always a good thing to see businesses opening and the diversity they bring is also good.
"We support any venture to produces jobs and this is a positive for Gladstone."
Hansen said he couldn't speak for the direct competitors of the new supermarket but said the opening was a good thing for the city considering the current economic climate.
"It is a good thing to see a business opening when Gladstone is struggling a little bit in business," he said. "We like to see people spending money and we like to see competition."
Mayor Matt Burnett said that residents of Gladstone have always come out in force to support new business.
"It's jam-packed and has been since they opened the doors at 8am," Cr Burnett said. "People in Gladstone always get involved in stuff like this during its first days.
"This was the baby of former mayor Gail Sellers and she worked very hard to bring ALDI to central Queensland."
The new ALDI store has also brought in shoppers from outside the region with many coming from Rockhampton and even Cairns.
Cr Burnett also highlighted the economic benefits for the region as the store is currently the only ALDI location in central Queensland.
Traffic issues on Boles and Breslin Street were also discussed with Cr Burnett stating the issue "will resolve itself as time goes by".
"You can't judge the traffic congestion on the day that a business opens," Cr Burnett said.