TODAY marks the 10th anniversary of Griffith Central.
Located at the intersection of Yambil Street and Jondaryan Avenue and now an integral part of the Griffith community, it seems like only yesterday that the shopping centre was being constructed.
Centre manager Cheryl Wood has been in charge at Griffith Central from day one, watching it grow into the facility it is today.
“We wanted to create a central meeting place, where people could come and met up with friends, shop and participate in a range of activities,” Mrs Wood said.
“More than just a shopping centre, Griffith Central is in a sense a community hub, a place where local people can gather to celebrate the community and participate in local events.
“I had been working in shopping centres for 20 years before coming here. The things you roll out generally in a shopping centre didn’t work here.
“We had to work hard to build a relationship, building links and relationships with the community and seeing those things grow, which in turn helps the shopping centre.”
Since it opened on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 more than 60 retail shops have traded from the centre.
One decade on, the centre will be fully occupied for Christmas – the first time every shop has been open and trading at the same time.
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Mrs Wood said the key to Griffith Central’s success has been consistency.
“When it first opened there were empty shops, so it was a pretty hard sell,” she said.
“Meeting the expectation of the owners was pretty hard. It was a matter of putting our heads down, being consistent and working hard.
“This is the first time all of the shops have been occupied in 10 years. Every single space is occupied and that’s exciting. I even have a waiting list. It is good to have flexibility, so you can have pop-up shops. They bring interesting and novel things to the centre.”
There are currently 34 permanent retailers in the centre, including the new V8 hand carwash that recently opened in the car park. There is also a few pop up shops taking advantage of the Christmas trading season.
A number of those retailers are also celebrating their 10th anniversary at Griffith Central, having been there since the opening – Millers, Sanity, Subway, Amanti Di Caffe, Donut King, Chemist Warehouse, Salon Central (formerly Just Cuts), Flight Centre and EB Games, and anchor tenants Target and Ritchies IGA.
Mrs Wood was happy the hard work over 10 years was paying off for the centre and the town.
“There’s a good mix of local and national stores,” she said. “Everyone who works here lives in Griffith. People have even moved to town to open here.”
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