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Things have been mega busy for the first few days of business at Oamaru’s new Mitre 10 Mega, which opened on Monday.

Store manager Nicky Kofoed said the 100-capacity car park had been full all day on Monday, and the impressive 6000sq m store evoked a positive reaction from the public.

“People walk in the door and just go

Mrs Kofoed had been managing the previous Oamaru Mitre 10 and said most of the staff had come with her to the new store, which was double the size of its Severn and Cross Sts predecessor and cost $18million to build. Another 25 to 30 new jobs meant the business was employing 68 permanent staff, she said.

Construction on the site between Dees and Ribble Sts had taken more than 12 months, with setbacks including the discovery of archaeological remains, and also the Covid-19 lockdown.

“It hasn’t happened overnight. But just seeing it all come together and the customers’ reactions makes it all worthwhile,” Mrs Kofoed said.

The new site included a Columbus Cafe, children’s playground area, a 670sq m garden centre, and a 3140sq m retail area which housed kitchen and bathroom showrooms.

Mrs Kofoed said post lockdown, the DIY side of the business had been “amazing”, both at the original business and now the new premises.

“People are having a stay-cation at home and doing all this work.”

The store was owned by The Collins Group, which also owned the Mitre 10 Mega stores in Timaru and Ashburton. Collins Group managing director Simon Lye said he was excited about the contribution the store would make to the local community.

The business would be hosting Easy as Kids workshops to help children learn basic building skills, loaning out its community marquee for school fairs and sports days and providing rural schools with free hi-vis vests, he said.

There would be an opening weekend tomorrow and Sunday, with face painting and entertainment for the children, as well as giveaways and a free sausage sizzle.