The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES KITTO

TWENTY new jobs and shiploads of more op­por­tu­ni­ties were cre­ated for Der­went Val­ley res­i­dents last week, when a Tas­ma­ni­an­based re­tail gi­ant sailed into New Nor­folk.

Open­ing for a sneak peek to Face­book fol­low­ers last Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, be­fore its grand open­ing the fol­low­ing morn­ing, Tas­ma­nia’s 13th Shiploads store has proven a hit among Der­went Val­ley res­i­dents, with thou­sands rush­ing through the doors in the store’s open­ing days.

Af­ter hav­ing to close its doors for a pe­riod of time on open­ing day to deal with a rush of cus­tomers, Shiploads New Nor­folk has gone full steam ahead since be­gin­ning trad­ing, Shiploads man­ag­ing direc­tor Ash­ley Wil­son said.

“We had a queue around the store for around two hours on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon and 9am Thurs­day morn­ing there was a line of around 100 peo­ple wait­ing to get in,” Mr Wil­son said. “It’s just been phe­nom­e­nal.”

Mr Wil­son said it was great to of­fer 20 new jobs to the Der­went Val­ley re­gion.

“We are a gen­uine Tas­ma­nian com­pany and it is very im­por­tant for us to cre­ate long-term jobs for so many peo­ple just like us,” he said.

New Nor­folk mother and new Shiploads em­ployee Stephanie Plum­stead said she was ex­cited to start her first job lo­cally, which will help her to sup­port her young son.

Der­went Val­ley Mayor Mar­tyn Evans said he ex­pected the open­ing of the store to have a flow-on ef­fect to other busi­nesses in the area.

“The op­por­tu­ni­ties its cre­ated has been fan­tas­tic,” Cr Evans said.

“In vis­it­ing the store over the week­end, it was clear that Shiploads was at­tract­ing cus­tomers who were then go­ing on to eat, drink, and spend money at neigh­bour­ing busi­nesses.

“I’m sure with re­cent open­ings like Shiploads, and with other op­por­tu­ni­ties on the hori­zon like the de­vel­op­ment of a new dis­tillery at Wil­low Court we will see a de­cline in unem­ploy­ment in the re­gion.”

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