By Claire Reilly
Discount bulk retailer Costco is set to get a bit more competition in the ACT, thanks to the opening yesterday of a new shopping centre next door to its Canberra warehouse.
The Majura Park Shopping Centre, located in the Majura Park business district near Canberra Airport, features a range of retailers including EB Games, Dick Smith and Woolworths, as well as a 250-seat food court and Big W’s newest Australian store.
At the opening of the centre, Big W was certainly given pride of place with director Julie Coates and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher joining to unveil a plaque for the occasion.
Speaking about the new retail centre, which has seen the area around the airport expand to become more of a shopping destination, the Chief Minister was positive about what the development meant for Canberra.
“We can perform a real role as a centre for a whole range of functions and this investment in Majura Park Shopping Centre delivers on that,” said the Minister. “The opening of this new shopping precinct is another clear signal from the business community of their confidence in the ACT economy. There is confidence in our city, in our spending power and confidence in the future.”
The new Big W store is at the centre of the shopping centre, with a dedicated discount offering that will no doubt aim to draw customers away from rival Costco. And the director of Big W was certain that the new shopfront would bring a point of difference to the retail landscape.
“We have 171 Big W stores in Australia,” said Ms Coates. “This is our newest and best. You will see things in this store you won’t see in any other store in the country.”
While Dick Smith’s shopfront in the centre was also the newest of its kind to be opened by parent company Woolworths Limited, the presence of the retailer was being played down, no doubt due to Woolworths’ recent decision to sell the embattled consumer electronics chain.
Although it's not all bad news for Woolworths. The retail giant will be expanding its footprint in Canberra in the coming months, with the new Majura Park Shopping Centre to be joined by a Masters home improvement warehouse, set to open in the area in July.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Big W director Julie Coates unveil a plaque at the opening of the Majura Park Shopping Centre in Canberra yesterday.
The new centre.