Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Kmart fans get excited about new store opening

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OPENING: Bethlehem Kmart's new manager Forest Worthen will be opening his doors to the public for the first time today. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
OPENING: Bethlehem Kmart's new manager Forest Worthen will be opening his doors to the public for the first time today. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

The city's second Kmart store opens today, bringing more shoppers to the Bethlehem Town Centre and exciting the fans of the department store.

Bethlehem Town Centre manager Andrew Wadsworth said based on the feedback he'd had from the community, he expected Kmart's opening day to be extremely busy.

"I've been getting messages on Facebook about people planning day trips and shopping expeditions.

"My family are Kmart customers, so my family will be out here as well.

"We can't wait."

The store would open its doors for the first time at 8am.

Read more: Kmart Bethlehem opens

Mr Wadsworth said building the store had been an 11-month project which resulted in big changes to the centre. Line of sight between Countdown and Kmart was required, as the two stores were now the centre's anchor tenants . This required the reconfiguration of some of the roads.

"It's completely transformed the centre. It's completed the centre.

"We've got a couple of shops left still vacant, but we're looking to announce new retailers for those shortly. This place is going to be near capacity in a short time."

Kmart fan Nicole Thompson was planning to make a special trip to her favourite store today.

"I'm a Kmart addict, I love their stuff. It's become a joke between me and my friends to see who buys the most stuff there, we call it K'marte to make it sound a bit posher," Ms Thompson joked.

The new store would be much closer to her Otumoetai home than the Bayfair store, saving her a trip to the mall once or twice a week.

Kmart did not respond to requests for comment by deadline as its executives were travelling to the opening.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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