Shoppers by the Shiploads at shop’s sneak peek

Staff prepare to open the doors of the New Norfolk Shiploads.

SHOPPERS flocked to the new Shiploads store in New Norfolk this afternoon for a sneak peek ahead of its official opening at 9am tomorrow (Thursday).

More than a year in the making and after many months of renovations to the old Woolworths building at the corner of Charles and George streets, the long-awaited discount store welcomed its first customers for a “friends and family” preview this afternoon. “Friends” included those of the Facebook kind, of which there are already 1391 for the New Norfolk store.

Staff cut a ribbon and opened the doors to a flood of customers at 3.30pm. Shoppers later posted on Facebook that there were lines of people in the aisles of the new store but the staff handled the deluge with ease.

The first customer through the doors.

A video of the huge influx of shoppers pouring through the doors has been posted on the local store’s Facebook page. Opening specials exclusive to the New Norfolk shop include $1 tomato plants, $2 single-bed sheet sets, 55L storage tubs for $5, queen-size blankets for $5, and 2kg washing powder for $3, among many other offers.

Meanwhile work is continuing in two smaller shops that have been created on each side of the Shiploads premises, which are expected to house a bottleshop and a gymnasium.

Established by the original owners of the Chickenfeed Bargain Stores, Shiploads started trading in 2010 in its first store at Cambridge. Since then it has expanded across the state to a network of 14 stores.

Customers quickly filled the shop.

Coincidentally the New Norfolk branch of Chickenfeed was the 14th in that network when  it opened in 1992. It quickly became one of the busiest shops in the town, which led to the shop being expanded twice.

The New Norfolk Chickenfeed closed in 2012 when the chain – having been sold to new owners – went into voluntary administration. Its former premises at 25-29 High St have been occupied by the Reject Shop since 2013.

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