By Kymberly Martin

In a temporary site.

It’s back to business for Harvey Norman in Mt Isa, following a major fire that destroyed the original store earlier this month.

The new store, which had a soft opening yesterday, is located at the Overlander shopping centre on the outskirts of the city. Franchisee Brad Sheppard told AR the site was chosen because it was a new complex with enough space to accommodate all the departments within the 2500 square metre area.

“People have been very understanding and appreciate that we have opened as quickly as possible and can service them with what we have already and restock as quickly as possible. There is not much available in Mt Isa when it comes to IT, furniture or electrical appliances,” he said.

Image caption:  Brad Sheppard, left and joint franchisee, Brian Bower

“We expect to be here for the next six to 12 months, depending on how long it takes to rebuild on the previous site in the CBD although this is still to be confirmed by the owner as the property was leased.

“As for stock we would probably have 80% of our electrical and furniture inventory. From a computer perspective we have about 10% but it is shipping in as we speak. We expect to be fully stocked within three to four weeks and be ready to have our grand opening.”

He said no further details have emerged following the discovery of the CCTV camera from the fire but Sheppard believed at this stage it would be ruled out as suspicious.

Mt Isa has a population of 23,000 people and is the biggest centre in North-West Queensland.