POPULAR mega-chain Kmart has put to bed rumours they are opening a store in Gympie any time soon following stirring murmurs the store had a site near Gympie Bunnings picked as its next regional location.
The Gympie Times was advised by some in the business community that the popular Australian variety store had its sights set on Gympie, but this week a Kmart spokeswoman cleared up the confusion.
"We are always looking for new locations to bring people our everyday low prices, and that includes Gympie," she told The Gympie Times.
"At this time we have no firm plans to open a store there, however if this changes we'll advise the community with a formal announcement."
Kmart opened Australia's first discount department store in Burwood, Victoria in 1969, which began an Australian icon that has become a favourite retailer with 190 stores across Australia and New Zealand.
The talk of a Kmart coming to Gympie is nothing new. It is born out of the desperate cry of Gympie Kmart-lovers who drive at least an hour to get their fix at the closest Kmart stores at Maroochydore and Hervey Bay.
What new store would you most like to see in Gympie?
One resident, Lynette Geiger has started an online petition to convince the Australian retailer to give Gympie a try.
The keen shopper's Bring Kmart to Gympie petition , published online at Care2petitions has 921signatures - 79 away from its goal of 1000.
"We want Kmart in Gympie! It will bring more business and the residents will love it," Ms Geiger writes.
"It will provide more job opportunities to our residents - we are a growing town and this would be perfect."
Supporters of the petition, many of who are begging for the discount department store to call Gympie home, resonate the same sentiments:
Nicole S: Kmart has a huge variety of products and the latest trends all at an affordable price! We need one in Gympie PLEASE!
Leanne M: Kmart would be a great addition to our ever growing community, would add variety & competitive shopping choice, would also create much needed employment and help with keeping local $ here!
Sandee G: C'mon Gympie, let's get together & get a Kmart, my life in Gympie would be complete with a Kmart.
Christine M: I drove over 3hours last week to buy a trampoline from Kmart at Hervey Bay. Definitely need one in Gympie please.
Elise M: Have been waiting years for Kmart to come to Gympie. I hope they do because I most certainly will be a frequent shopper!
In the meantime these are the closest Kmart stores for Gympie people:
- Hervey Bay
- Kippa Ring
- Arana Hills
And as for what will really fill the space for lease near Bunnings Gympie- The Gympie Times is working on finding out.