Take a look inside Bundaberg's new shopping centre
FIREWORKS lit up the night sky as Bundaberg's new shopping centre opened its doors.
Hundreds of shoppers packed into the new centre today jostling for some of the best deals.
The $30 million retail development is 6715sqm in size and sees Stockland branching out from its existing centre across the road.
In a big boost for the Rum City, the project created 70 jobs during construction and Coles alone has created 40 new jobs in Bundaberg's west with the opening of its new supermarket at Stockland Kensington.
The new Coles store includes an olive bar, open-style butchery and a scoop-and-weigh station with a wide range of seeds, nuts, grains and dried fruits.
There is a market feel to the new store with a new-style customer-oriented bakery section and a cheese wall in the deli.
The new Bundaberg supermarket will also feature 220 shaded car parks and more then 200 Queensland products including several from the Rum City, including Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Bundy Juice, Baffle Milk and Bundaberg Sugar.
An additional 54 staff were transferred from Bundy's two other Coles supermarkets, including its Westside store which closes permanently tonight ahead of the new store's opening tomorrow.
That takes the total number of team members at Coles Kensington to 94.
Stockland group executive and commercial property chief executive John Schroder said the store was of the fastest transactions from purchasing to opening.
"(Stockland) only came into the Bundaberg market two-and-a-half years ago when we bought into Sugarland,” he said.
"We formed the view we needed to deliver something quite spectacular for our customers compare to what the Bundaberg people have had.
"There's a point of difference with convenience and easy access.”
He said Bundaberg was a good market and was positive the growth would be big and exciting for the town.
Mr Schroder said he had strong ties to the area and was around when Bundy farmer and developer John Santalucia developed Sugarland.
"I liked it then and I went back to Sydney and have been thinking about it ever since,” he said.
Stockland Kensington store manager Melissa Lynch, who has worked with Coles for 12 years, said she was excited to be bringing customers a bigger and brighter store.
"The feedback that I've received from the community so far is that everyone is really excited,” she said.
"It'll be fantastic to deliver a brand new store that our customers deserve.
"The scoop-and-weigh is exciting as I've never seen it in Bundaberg before.
"The team is also keen to lend a helping hand and support local charities and organisations once the store is open.”
The shopping centre was unveiled to local shoppers for the first time today.
But before that, Coles is hosting a free community event to celebrate the opening tonight until 8pm.
There will be sideshow alley games, free show bags, cooking demonstrations with MasterChef contestant Courtney Roulston, face painting, a balloon artist, slot car racing, bungee run, laser skirmish, mini golf, animal farm and more.
The night will culminate with a fireworks display.
Kids can dress as super heroes to win a prize and meet their favourite super heroes, as well as the Easter Bunny.
Following Saturday's opening, Coles click and collect will also be on offer from May 31, allowing shoppers to order their groceries online and collect them for free from the store.
The new store will also distribute home delivery orders, improving delivery times for Bundaberg residents.