Woolies robot sparks retail resurgence
A new retail wing, complete with robot shop assistants, has reignited interest at one of the state's oldest and largest shopping centres.
The Hyperdome, at Loganholme, opened its new $60 million North Wing months ahead of the expected November deadline.
Often referred to as the "Far End", trade at the northern section had largely failed since the centre's two large tenants, Bi-Lo and Myer, exited in 2018.
But new stores in the space, led by the state-of-the-art Woolworths and Big W, have triggered a retail resurgence at that end of the centre.
Logan-based Japanese takeaway Ha Ha Sushi, BWS, Nextra, Hollywood Nails, and beauty parlour Shrungaar have started trading in the northern mall.
Hyperdome centre manager Brian Turner hinted at other major retailers moving in to the centre but refused to reveal the secret.
"We look forward to welcoming more exciting retailers in a staged manner over the coming months," he said.
"It is still too early to share any further details, but we look forward to making some
exciting announcements as our plans are finalised."
One of the biggest drawcards in the new wing that is amusing shoppers is the automated Woolworths store and its fleet of retail robots headed by Holmes, which roams the store looking for spills on the floor and other hazards.
Shoppers were divided on the benefits of not having traditional checkout staff scanning products and taking payments.
Loganholme's Rebecca Preedy, who is in a wheelchair, said the robot scared her.
"I freaked out thinking what is this thing following me? I am in a wheelchair so panicked but it is a great amazing store, the best one around."
Shopper Donna-Steve James said the robot did not bother her.
"But with too many people in the store, I don't think it gets a chance to spot any spills," she said.
"I walked up the aisle and there was a broken biscuit on the ground. I did wonder how long it would take to spot that. A bit of a waste I feel."
The new animated store also highlighted the shopping divide between Coles and K-mart at the southern end of the centre and Woolworths and Big W at the northern end.
Logan shopper Emma Parry said the Woolies robot was the way of the future.
"I love the new shop. I have stopped shopping at Coles all because of this beautiful new Woolies."
The "soft opening" for the new wing in late July also coincided with a number of retailers shutting shop at the centre and McDonald's moving from outside the cinema to the inside food court.
Restaurant Touch of India closed in June and pop-up coffee shop Vintage On Tap is expected to close next month.
Homewares store Ishka was pushed to the brink in June, when it shut its Hyperdome store telling custoerms it was under administration.
However, the store has been able to trade out of its difficulties and is currently opened at reduced hours at the centre.
Originally published as Woolies robot sparks retail resurgence at Hyperdome