Tennant Creek’s IGA supermarket is expected to open by November of this year, after an extensive reconstruction and fit-out of the old site.
The IGA had to be relocated to a temporary site after the Paterson Street building, including adjoining retailers, was destroyed by arson in July 2020.
The supermarket and buildings are owned by Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation (JCAC) and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), who are each 50% shareholders.
“The rebuild and fit-out was scheduled to be completed in September,” says IBA’s Executive Director, Government and Public Relations, Sean Armistead. “However, our project manager advises that due to a range of issues, including disruptions to the building industry around Australia, we expect the open date to now be November.”
“We are doing everything in our power to get the work finished as fast as possible and to provide a store that meets the expectations and needs of the local community.”
Once construction of the building is complete, the building will be handed over to IBA Retail Asset Management (IRAM), which manages and operates the store, for a comprehensive fit-out.
“Our partnership board has approved the design, our architect has ordered all the specialist fittings, including refrigeration and shelving, and we have awarded tenders for the fit out,” IRAM CEO John Kop said.
“The reconstruction project gave us a chance to modernise the store lay out and facilities, so we’re keen to get on with it and re-open our doors,” Mr Kop said.
IRAM has operated a temporary store co-located with the town’s BP Service Station since August 2020.
“We were able to get up and running relatively quickly, as we could share computer systems and facilities, such as the BP kitchen and storage shed,” Mr Kop said.
“With the help of our owners, the Julalikari and IBA partnership, we have invested in substantial upgrades to the facility over the past year, which has enabled us to trade as normally as possible,” he said.
“We now stock nearly our full range of goods and have maintained competitive supermarket prices at both the temporary supermarket and BP Service Station, with weekly specials,” Mr Kop said.
Mr Kop said the current tourist season had increased trade at the supermarket and BP service station but supplies from Adelaide were holding up well.
“Tennant Creek is booked out and we expect to be busy in coming weeks, with events such as the Finke Desert Race,” he said.
Tara Toohill, for IBA on 0427 011 938
Jane Munday, True North Strategic Communication, for IRAM on 0427 880 083