Su­per­mar­ket closed in Air­lie Beach main street

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

TUES­DAY marked the end of an era for the Air­lie Su­per­mar­ket which has now closed its doors af­ter more than three decades of busi­ness on the Air­lie Beach main street.

Greg Lange has been run­ning the busi­ness for the past 28 years and made the de­ci­sion to close the su­per­mar­ket and re-open in a dif­fer­ent busi­ness for­mat af­ter learn­ing that Wool­worths would be open­ing a store mere me­tres away across the street.

“I’ve just made a commercial de­ci­sion that I think the site could be put to bet­ter use than just try­ing to keep Wool­worths pric­ing hon­est,” he said.

“I be­lieve it’s not vi­able to con­tinue in the cur­rent for­mat and that puts me in a po­si­tion where I be­lieve we need to rein­vent our­selves and come back in a dif­fer­ent for­mat and that’s what we will do.”

In the course of his 28 years at the su­per­mar­ket, Mr Lange has seen many changes on the Air­lie main street.

He says he never in his wildest dreams imag­ined a Wool­worths store in Air­lie Beach but also ad­mit­ted the writ­ing had been on the wall for quite some time.

He said we now lived in a world where large chain stores dom­i­nated the econ­omy and par­tic­u­larly in Aus­tra- lia. “To me, it didn’t make con­sumer sense to have a large chain type store in Air­lie Beach – I felt the per­fect place for that was in Cannonvale where there was plenty of room to pro­vide the fa­cil­i­ties re­quired for traf­fic and park­ing.

“I felt Air­lie Beach should re­ally have been a top-up shop­ping town – that’s the way I saw it,” he said.

“But no-one’s try­ing to keep it a sleepy old town. I’m not anti-progress and I un­der­stand busi­ness is busi­ness but the tragedy of it all is that the real story be­hind all of this is prob­a­bly deeper than im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous.”

While Mr Lange re­mained tight-lipped about the fu­ture, he did say there were some ex­cit­ing plans on the draw­ing board, which could come to fruition at the build­ing within a mat­ter of weeks.

END OF AN ERA: The Air­lie Su­per­mar­ket closed its doors on Tues­day af­ter more than three decades of serv­ing the people of Air­lie Beach.

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