The highly anticipated opening of Rotorua's Kmart store takes place on Friday with a ribbon-cutting only minutes before the doors open for shoppers.

The Kmart team will welcome people into the 4400sq m shop at 8am after a 7am opening ceremony that includes a formal presentation and speeches.

More than 2400 people applied to work at the new store, with more than 100 new team members eventually hired locally. Two Kmart employees were transferred from other stores.

All team members undertook training at surrounding Kmart stores. They were joined by a specialist team of shelf stockers to get more than 50,000 items out of boxes and ready to be sold.


The opening ceremony begins at 7.05am, the cutting of the ribbon at 7.55am and doors open at 8am.

Rotorua's new store showcases the retailer's new layout now being rolled out nationally as part of a commitment to an improved shopping experience for customers. Updates include self-serve checkouts, wider aisles and bolder graphics for navigation.

The Rotorua store will be the 21st Kmart to open in New Zealand.

Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust general manager Peter Faulkner said the trust, which owned Trade Central where Kmart was built, was pleased with the progress and ready for Friday's opening.

"All the ducks are in a row ... from a site and construction point of view we are all done and dusted.

"Focus is now on co-ordinating the opening. We are working very closely with 50 Fifty Traffic Management, the Rotorua Lakes Council and NZTA."

The Rotorua site was officially announced in October 2016, with an estimated cost of $20 million. It is part of a major redevelopment of the Trade Central site on Amohau St.