After a period of upheaval at the store, including an abortive attempt at a community purchase a few months back, Mullumbimby’s Dennett’s IGA supermarket changed hands last week.
It’s a positive sign for the Mullum community, who waged a long but ultimately unsuccessful battle to keep Woolworths out of the town.
Dennett’s new owner Dino Rosa may not be a local but he wasted no time in getting involved with the community.
He told Echonetdaily, ‘Currently I am buying from a local butcher and am negotiating with other retailers and wholesalers in the community to see what partnerships can be forged’.
As an owner of two established Supa IGA stores, he says his increased buying power will make Dennett’s prices more competitive and allow him to increase the number of product lines.
‘I would love more floor space,’ he says, ‘but as it is I think we can refine and increase stock by a couple of thousand.
‘One of the first improvements made will be $30k investment in ovens and hot display cases in the deli and a more regular fruit and veg supply. We have had great feedback already with our increased range of fruit and veg with lower prices.’
Donating to community and sporting groups is also a priority, he says, as ‘it is vital to give back to the community that supports you’.
Most importantly, he says he is retaining all the 30 staff.
‘The strength of this business is its staff. Current employee Daniel Tiffin has been promoted to store manager, and he will oversee the day-to-day operation.’
With Coles and Woolies holding a duopoly on Australia’s food market, IGA, along with other smaller operators, can find competing tough.
And despite no current legislation regulating the duopoly’s predatory pricing, for example promoting loss-leading items such as $2 milk, Mr Rosa is confident that Mullum’s IGA will continue to be an integral part of the town.
‘It’s a combination of both buying power and integration with the local economy that will enable a sustainable and prosperous future for any community.’
Another aim also is to encourage more street traffic on Burringbar Street.
He says it was a focus for his stores in Brisbane and it helped to generate more for the local economy.
‘I am genuinely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, as we start to implement an improved range, lower prices every day and a very strong promotional program that will see even stronger specials.’