Up to 1000 people have applied for 70 positions at Rotorua's new Mitre 10 Mega and Mega Cafe Columbus Coffee.
More than 700 people applied for 60 positions in the store while between 200 and 300 applied for the 10 jobs at the cafe. The store's general manager, Jim McCall, said they had employed 60 new staff as well as 10 staff from the Mitre 10 site at Rotorua Central Mall.
"We've had about 700 applications and they're still coming in. I expected that we would get a lot of applications and that interest would be strong in the area," Mr McCall said.
Columbus Coffee business and operations manager Nathan Bonney said the cafe, which would seat up to 90 people, had employed 10 people.
Mr Bonney said they had received an overwhelming response and "we have been able to pick the best people for these positions".
The new 7000sq m store will open at 7am on Friday with a blessing by representatives of Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust on Thursday night. A powhiri for suppliers and Mitre 10 staff is also planned.
The store will have a full programme throughout next weekend to celebrate the opening. Mitre 10 Mega Strongman Levi Vaoga will be in store on Saturday and Sunday performing truck pulls, brick squeezes and rock and log lifting. He will also visit several primary schools on Thursday and Friday.
Mitre 10 NZ chief executive John Hartmann said the completion of the fourth Mitre 10 Mega store to open this year had brought up to 200 new jobs to locations in Whangarei, Rotorua, Manukau and Christchurch.
Meanwhile, Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust client manager Peter Faulkner, of Hulton Patchell, said they were in "fairly serious" negotiations with a couple of other tenants for the Amohau St site which he described as "large format retailers". He expected to make an announcement on those tenants within the next two to three weeks.
Mr Faulkner said he wasn't able to say how many tenants were needed.
"There is a staged development. There will be a number of tenants that we will be securing for the site."
When the Rotorua District Council granted resource consent last year the council's team leader for resource consents, Paul Skinner, said the consent allowed for six buildings including Mitre 10 Mega.
He said other businesses would be restricted to retail outlets selling bulky products, including carpets, building materials and vehicles.