The end of lockdown will see new retail stores in Wollongong Central.
The first of those is sporting good retailer JD Sports, which opened on Thursday.
It is also the first JD Sports outlet in the Illawarra.
Wollongong Central Marketing Manager Holly Howell said brands like Seed, Seafolly, Billabong, Burrito Bar and Elite Body Contouring would be opening in the coming weeks.
There is also the possibility of a bowling alley in the vacant David Jones food hall next to Holey Moley - a development application has been lodged with Wollongong City Council.
"It is exciting to be able to present such strong brands to our centre and to be the first to welcome them within the Illawarra," Ms Howell said.
"The opening of the stores reflects the confidence the retail industry has moving forward following the pandemic period."
Ms Howell said business was gradually returning to normal, with more and more people heading to Wollongong Central.
"We've experienced a 60 percent growth in foot traffic throughout the centre in the past two weeks and we expect that growth to continue as people begin to focus on Christmas," she said.
"While people have embraced online shopping and supported retailers through COVID with the use of click and collect or takeaway services, nothing beats the personal service of being in-store and being able to connect with others in a relaxed environment."
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