WITH Hinkler Central set to reopen in 20 days, just over half of the shops will be ready to open their doors on the day - and eight will not return at all.
As customers get ready to return to the rebuilt shopping centre, they'll find some familiar storefronts missing.
While 28 stores will still be rebuilding when the grand reopening arrives on May 28, Hinkler Central has confirmed eight retailers will not be making a comeback.
Those outlets are Slim Jim's, Wendy's, Signatures Cafe, Game Traders, Australian Country Living, Skilling Solutions, Laser Colour and Medicare.
The NewsMail was yesterday unable to confirm if Medicare would open a shopfront elsewhere in the city.
Centre manager Renee Pukallus said negotiations with new retailers were progressing to fill the empty stores.
The three major retailers in the centre - Coles, Woolworths and Kmart - will all return, but Kmart will not be ready until late June.
Ms Pukallus said Kmart was investing heavily in a "new generation" store, one of its first in Australia.
While supermarket giant Woolworths originally expected to reopen mid to late June, the refit of the store has run ahead of schedule.
As a result, Woolworths and Coles will be ready to open in line with the grand re-opening.
A facelift has also been given to the shopping centre's food court and public facilities.
"We have been overwhelmed by the public display of support, and we are looking forward to being back better than ever," Ms Pukallus said.
The grand reopening day will feature an appearance by the Queensland State of Origin team, who will sign autographs and meet and greet Bundaberg shoppers from 9am.
Stores not re-opening at Hinkler Central
Australian Country Living