Work is continuing on the new CBD Coles superstore.
Work is continuing on the new CBD Coles superstore. Rob Williams

Start date for Coles put back

THE scheduled opening day for the Coles superstore in Ipswich has been delayed but the company is determined to open as soon as possible.

The massive store in the heart of the CBD was scheduled to open by the end of the year.

But Coles general manager for Queensland Mark Scates said drainage issues had forced that back.

"There will be a slight delay. With the work we've got to do with the drainage, it's put us back to March," Mr Scates said.

"It's disappointing but we're working with council on it to make sure we're putting in exactly what is required for the area.

"I must admit council have been brilliant to work with.

"It is a deviation but only a small one for us and we are trying to work feverishly to bring that forward to February.

"It's a slight setback but from my point of view I don't see it as a monumental one.

"It would have been nice for the people of Ipswich for it to open in December.

"We want to open so we can be supporting the community but from a compliance point of view we want to do the right thing."

After the former store was inundated last January, engineers realised a new store would have to be built above the flood line.

In October, the old Coles came crashing down and work started on building the first Coles superstore in Queensland.

The new superstore will be 6000sq m - double the size of any store in Coles' standard fleet with hundreds of employees needed.

"We'll still be engaging our team members pre-Christmas and they will be trained in surrounding stores so they're ready for the opening," Mr Scates said.

"I'd like to go out and open right now to be totally honest. Every day that we're not open, the community doesn't have a choice.

"We're still hoping it will be eight weeks not 12, that's what I've asked everyone to work towards. If we get more dry days and we work around the clock we can bring it forward.

"It's still going to be Queensland's first superstore and the support from the community has been absolutely brilliant and we're very keen to start repaying that support."