The developer of Dunedin’s Kmart says once it is open South Dunedin’s shopping district will rival the city centre.

The Australian retail giant appears scheduled to open its doors in Dunedin in June.

A job listing for a Dunedin department manager has been posted on the Kmart website, indicating the store would open in “approximately June 2024”.

Kmart did not respond when the Otago Daily Times inquired about the specific opening date.

It did not answer questions about how many department managers would be employed, when hiring would take place and overall staff numbers.

Previously, the newspaper reported it would employ more than 100 staff.

Kmart was originally housed in the Meridian Mall, but vacated in early 2020 due to concerns about required seismic strengthening work.

Its departure left a gaping hole in the city’s retail industry, with shoppers regularly travelling to the Kmart in Invercargill.

Four years on, its new home is under construction at the former Smiths City building, in Andersons Bay Rd, South Dunedin.

Otago Land Group owner Martin Dippie, who is developing the site, said Dunedin was one of the last major cities in New Zealand to not have a Kmart, and it had attracted a lot of interest from the public.

“I think it’s a real turning point for the wider South Dunedin business district, which means we can really compete seriously with the CBD.

“From what I understand it’s going to be one of their new generation flagship stores, so it’s going to be quite the bee’s knees.”

Mr Dippie said the building was much bigger inside than it seemed, following a 1000sq m extension.

Work on the building had been a “complex jigsaw puzzle of putting it together”.

Contractors were aiming for an April completion date, he said.

[email protected] , PIJF cadet reporter

 

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