Hardware war starts
COMPETITION has returned to Hervey Bay's hardware industry as the new Mitre 10 store opens its doors to the public.
The news not only presents a fresh challenge to DIY giant Bunnings but also brings a wave of much-needed jobs to the area.
For some time just one superstore has monopolised the market, forcing many smaller retailers out of business, but while the former occupants of the Mitre 10 building may have had little luck new owners are determined to make their mark.
Since doors opened on Wednesday, a steady stream of customers have been making their way around the store which includes a retail section stocked with homewares and hardware and a timber wholesale outlet.
Site manager Paul Skarratt said yesterday that more than 180 people handed in their resumes following the announcement that Mitre 10 would be taking over the building which had previously been occupied by Dale and Meyers.
The former business operated at a loss for years and when it finally went up for sale then-manager Curly Tatnell said the tough economic climate coupled with staff dishonesty had been the major contributors.
Luckily for six dedicated staff who were determined not to be tarred with the same brush, the new owners saw their potential and gave them back their jobs.
Ten more locals were employed and many more are expected to follow.
The official opening and family fun day kicks off today at 8am and will run until 4pm.