MORE retailers are heading east with three chain stores expected to position themselves along Raglan Parade in the city’s burgeoning shopping centres.
Planning authority will be handled by the city council over an application by Aldi supermarkets to establish a second outlet in Warrnambool, potentially based at the Homemaker Centre.
Aldi’s move into the eastern retail precinct may be hampered if AMP, owners of Gateway Plaza, decide to oppose the development.
Several other retailers have their sights set on moving towards the eastern precinct including bed stockist Forty Winks and pet goods distributor Petstock, which will open its relocated store next month.
Forty Winks and Petstock are both set to move into the Bunnings shopping precinct, with the bed retailer replacing defunct electrical goods business Clive Peeters.
Cr Michael Neoh said Warrnambool shoppers were always keen to see more competition in the grocery sector as a way of lowering prices.
He said the city’s rapid residential growth would lead to a burgeoning appetite for groceries.
“The Homemaker centre and the Bunnings centre are designated as bulky goods sites although Warrnambool is well catered for in that market already,” Cr Neoh said.
An Aldi spokeswoman said no designated location had been determined by the retailer as yet, although a change in zoning to the Homemaker Centre may change the situation.
Four supermarkets were operated by three companies in Warrnambool a decade ago; Swintons in Timor Street, Safeway on Henna Street and Coles/BiLo at Gateway and Lava Street.
The “big two” supermarket chains have each expanded their network in Warrnambool by one outlet as well as opening new floorspace in Camperdown and Portland.
The international chain Aldi approached Warrnambool Homemaker Centre owners to operate a store at the eastern precinct zone in August 2011.
City councillors backed an application during the same month from the Homemaker Centre and Aldi to ask Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy to change several clauses in the city’s planning scheme, which specifically excludes a discount department store or supermarket.