WITH people lined up ten-deep before the scheduled opening time of 8am, and staff ready and waiting to welcome their new customers, the ribbon cutting of the new Ritchies IGA supermarket in Maclean was a spectacle to behold.

In a sight rarely seen in Maclean, shoppers were waiting at the doors with trolleys in hand for their chance to take a look inside the new store, which has been nine years in the making.

Ritchies IGA CEO Fred Harrison was on hand to welcome the new shoppers, and said the opening was a bigger event than the opening of a new store in most metropolitan areas.

With trolleys in hand, shoppers make their way inside the brave new world of Ritchies IGA supermarket in Maclean.
With trolleys in hand, shoppers make their way inside the brave new world of Ritchies IGA supermarket in Maclean. Jarrard Potter

"We've done a lot of store launches in different regional towns and often people come during the course of the day but I was shocked with how many people were here waiting for the store to open," he said.

"It was like a metropolitan store opening, people were at the gates waiting to go."

 

Ritchies IGA supermarket in Maclean is now open for business
Ritchies IGA supermarket in Maclean is now open for business Jarrard Potter

The new Ritchies IGA store is around 2000sqm in size, and Mr Harrison said the opening was an exciting day for Maclean.

"We've worked very strongly on our pricing in store, we're conscious we need to be very competitive as people are moving out of town to shop, obviously the more people we keep in town is good for the entire town, every retailer benefits," he said.

"We've had a lot of experience of going into regional towns and the amount of local businesses that thanked us afterwards for keeping people in town was amazing.

"The other thing I'm pleased with is that we've employed 98 people and they're all local and that's important in a local community."