Lismore Square will open on Wednesday July 6, including Woolworths

Cathy Adams
By Cathy Adams
Updated July 4 2022 - 10:50pm, first published 10:43pm

The doors of Lismore Square will reopen on Wednesday morning in a major milestone both for the people of Lismore and the people who work there.

Centre set for emotional return: 'It's good to have everyone home'

Woolworths was one of the stores set to reopen at 9am, and store manager Jessica Lees was "blown away" by how quickly it had been transformed from a scene of devastation.

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Woolworth's Lismore Square Store Manager Jessica Lees was "blown away" by how quickly it had been transformed from a scene of devastation. Picture: Cathy Adams

"The flood came 1.75m into the store. It was pretty confronting. When I first came back all of the stock had been removed, and it had been cleaned a number of times, but there was still mud in areas and you could definitely still smell the stench in the centre," she said.

The four months since the flood had been an emotional time for staff - 25 of them had been impacted personally by the flood, many losing most of what they had.

Ms Lees said a quarter of their team had not returned to the store, some leaving town and some finding other jobs.

"Some relocated. They just couldn't face doing it again and rebuilding here."

Some new faces have now joined the team and Ms Lees said they all looked forward to getting back to work in their own store after being spread across five stores.

"It's the first time in four months the store team has been back together. It's good to have everyone home."

She hoped it was a step towards everyone in Lismore getting back to their routines and reclaiming a bit of normality to their lives.

While a lot of the store layout remains the same, shoppers will notice a fresh new look, a stone-baked concept in the bakery, and new, enclosed meat fridges that are more environmentally friendly, saving energy and money.

Also reopening doors on Wednesday, are Mathers, EB Games, Suzanne Grae, Bay Audio, Specsavers, Priceline, Prouds, Makoda, Rockwear, Spendless Shoes, and Mister Minit.

Coles will open its doors on July 15, followed shortly after by Kmart and other retailers.

Centre owners McConaghy Properties said: "Alongside the commitment made by BIG W, Woolworths, Coles and Kmart, we are looking forward to welcoming back many more of the community's favourite specialty retailers over the coming months".