Avoca's IGA set to triple in size
THE Avoca IGA is set to almost triple in size, after an application to expand the store was approved by Bundaberg Regional Council yesterday.
The move is part of a five-stage development that will make room for six specialty shops, on top of the three already at the Branyan Dr Shopping Complex.
Phillip Hodge, who owns the IGA along with wife Tracey and business partners Clinton and Kath Church, said the move allowed them to offer more to customers.
"We plan to increase our offering to our clients, which means having a wider range," Mr Hodge said.
"This will take us from a convenience store to a top-up store."
Mr Hodge said at present, the store was overtrading.
"You have to go with the times especially in this competitive environment," he said.
"You have to keep growing or other people will do it for you."
Mr Hodge said the expansion showed the business owners' confidence in the area.
"I think we're showing our faith in the support of our customers," he said.
"It's a massive cost for us, so it's a big risk."
The store now employs about 18 people and Mr Hodge said the expansion meant more staff would be needed.
"Our staff numbers will probably increase by about 50%," he said.
Developer John Gorza said, optimistically, he would love to see the IGA expanded before Christmas.
"I want to get on to expanding the IGA as soon as possible," Mr Gorza said.
"Now that this is approved, I'll get straight on to the engineers."
Mr Gorza said the bigger store would mean more benefits for customers.
"This will give the IGA better buying power," he said.
"People will now get more variety at cheaper prices."
The final stage of the project, which involved 14 industrial storage sheds being built at the site, was rejected due to the possibility of industrial activity in the sheds, which conflicts with the city's planning scheme.