Supermarket closed in Airlie Beach main street
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.