Celebrating 50 years

50 year celebrations: Official celebrations will be held in-centre on February 20. There'll also be major giveaways from August to October 2020.

50 year celebrations: Official celebrations will be held in-centre on February 20. There'll also be major giveaways from August to October 2020.

On Thursday, February 20, 2020 (20.02.2020) Warilla Grove will be officially celebrating their 50th anniversary in-centre with free showbags, gelato, freebies, giveaways, live entertainment and of course cake!

"We will also have a community art piece which all customers will be invited to contribute to which will go on display in our shopping centre," marketing manager Nicole Galea said.

"For years to come we can remember everyone who celebrated our 50 years in business with us. The celebrations will take place between 11am and 2pm so be there."

Warilla Grove Shopping Centre celebrated 50 years on November 19, 2019.

Back half a century ago in 1969, Windang Bridge was two lanes of timber that rattled under the cars, Warilla didn't have a footy team and yet, the beachside suburb celebrated the opening of Shellharbour's first major shopping mall.

Now they welcome more than 2.5 million people each year.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba congratulated all retailers and staff who have worked there over the past 50 years.

"I remember when the 'Grove' first opened - this was the first 'shopping mall' of its kind in our local government area and it very quickly became a meeting place for nearby residents," Cr Saliba said. "In addition to its popularity with locals, Warilla Grove was - and still is - a shopping destination for many people living outside the area.

Cr Saliba said the warm and friendly service from staff in both large and small retailers is something for which Warilla Grove Shopping Centre is known.

"The longevity and growth of Warilla Grove has been a major contributor to the local economy and has provided employment for generations of residents.

"With the new Warilla Library now open, located just behind Warilla Grove, I have no doubt that the precinct will continue to thrive and grow."

When Warilla Grove first opened in November 1969 it was owned by Woolworths and had 20 specialty stores. It has since changed hands to private ownership and has grown to have two major supermarkets - Woolworths and Aldi - and 31 specialty stores in 11,500sqm.

The Centre was last expanded in 2007, when the Shellharbour Road frontage was opened up and new cafes were added. Last year a medical centre was added and several retail stores refurbished.

Current general retail manager is Frazer Dowling, operations manager is John Karapalevski and the onsite administration manager is Dianne Graham.

Working at management for 15 years, Dianne said the Centre takes pride in being a place of convenience and where people feel at ease among familiar faces.

"People love coming here because it's more than just shopping; it's a hub, a meeting place where many community groups have regular social get-togethers."

The management and retailers at Warilla Grove hope you can join them for these celebrations on Thursday, February 20.

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