The sun may have been low in the sky but excitement among would-be shoppers in the West Flat was high.
Saturday morning, upwards of 50 people formed a line that snaked into the parking lot of the new Giant Tiger location as they waited for the doors to slide open.
“It is nice. It will help for sure,” residents Nancy and George said as they exited the store with their cart stacked high. “We need a good shopping store like this especially in this area.”
This was a message shared by customers and management alike.
For over a year, the North West Company has been working with the city to open their newest location in Prince Albert. It will bring fresh food, employment and household goods close to a community where shopping is in short supply.
“I don’t know how many people take cabs to the other [location]," Store Manager Tyler Rocheleau said. "Now, instead of having to spend $20 on a cab to shop or work, they can spend maybe $5 or walk or ride a bike down here."
The 20,000 square foot location contains around 30 per cent more goods than the store on the hill and has new departments such as a deli where fresh in-house food is prepared.
It also has brought new employment. Rocheleau said over half of the nearly 40 positions were filled with people from the neighbourhood.
Mayor Greg Dionne and other dignitaries were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday morning. He was excited to see the new store operational.
“This is a great store for the West Flats,” he said. “I am excited about is that people were using $30 or $40 to get down to the other side of town to buy their groceries when now they are going to be able to spend that money in the store.”
The current location on South Hill will remain operational and is slated to see upgrades in the future. Regional Manager Chris Beblow believed there is a need for the two locations in the city.
“We have a great customer base on the Hill and so to expand into this community, we have opened up a great new door down here to customers that don’t have a grocery store in the area.”
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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