IT'S a new era at IGA Westpoint, with the first stage of a massive expansion opening to the public today.
It has been a very chaotic couple of years for the staff and customers of IGA, who have been working around a massive construction project at Westpoint, that more recently saw the store lose a big chunk of its footprint.
But it's all been worth it for the store, which will more than double in size once it is fully finished early next year.
IGA managing director Hamish Thompson, who also runs the Trinity Heights IGA, said the store will eventually have 900 square metres of trading space.
Work to set up the new section of IGA began this week and staff members will be at work as early as 4am on Thursday to put the last of the stock on display.
"It's a big job, because we've got a lot of new stock, but then we've got to bring all the other stock over from the other shop," Mr Thompson said on Wednesday.
"We trade there today and tomorrow we're trading in here, all things going well."
- VIDEO: Take a look inside the new-look Westpoint IGA
The supermarket will officially open its doors at 6.30am and will trade over the same hours as it offered at its former premises.
Entry is via the new automatic doors on the childcare centre side of the shopping complex.
Once inside, customers will be greeted by a larger deli section, more refrigeration and aisles, and a bigger checkout.
With the new retail space open, the expansion of IGA can progress to the next stage, which is to fit out the old premises.
Once complete, the temporary wall separating the two areas will be taken down to create the enormous store.
Mr Thompson said having a bigger retail space will lead to an increase in staff numbers and make for a better environment to work in.
"It's a lot better space to work in. Because we need efficiencies, there's better facilities for the staff, there's a cutting room for produce out the back, more cool rooms, a bigger freezer and all that sort of thing, so it makes it a lot more efficient," he said.
"The new fixtures and fittings make it nicer for the customer as well."