By James Wells

MELBOURNE: Clive Peeters will attack the North Queensland market next month with a 3,500 square metre store in Townsville as the retailer seeks to increase its presence in the Queensland market.

Clive Peeters managing director, Greg Smith, told the store will be open prior to the crucial Christmas trading period.

“The Townsville site was originally scheduled to open a year ago but it was put back. We are now able to open this store before Christmas which means it will fall into the mid December period,” Smith said.

“This store features 2,700 square metres of retail space and a dedicated 800 square metre warehouse as the store will not be serviced by our existing network of regional warehouses.

“We see Townsville as one of the key growth areas and our business has never had a footprint in North Queensland. This is a major statement for our brand in the North Queensland market and will complement other stores such as Cairns should we choose to open in that market. The result would complete our strategic network plan for Far North Queensland from the top down to Brisbane – further developments including the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and a couple of regional areas can be added,” he said.

Smith says he would also like a much bigger store on the Sunshine Coast to complement the stores acquired during the Ian Everards transaction as well as a number of additional sites in the greater Brisbane precinct.

“Queensland will become a bigger state for Clive Peeters than Western Australia. At this stage the Rick Hart business is about line ball with our current Queensland business in terms of size. I expect Queensland to become the number two state within the next 12 to 24 months,” Smith said.