On day two of trading at the new big box retail park opposite Albion Park Rail Bunnings, within an hour of opening the carpark was already full.
Testament to the Illawarra's insatiable appetite for large-format retail, shoppers were streaming through the doors of Officeworks, Anaconda, Spotlight and other retailers even before some stores had their official opening.
Joining these retailers at Park Central are Sydney Tools, Petstock, safety retailer RSEA, Supercheap Auto and Autobarn.
Spotlight was the first cab off the rank with a grand opening on Wednesday. Only the second store in the Illawarra, the shopping experience is a far cry from the Wollongong store in the heritage listed building on Crown Street.
Across 2400 square metres, the store contains Spotlight's range of kitchen, dining, home decor, bathroom, bedding, fabrics and sewing party and craft items.
Spotlight CEO Quentin Gracanin said the team had been "overwhelmed" by locals' enthusiasm.
"At Spotlight, we're all about encouraging our customers to create, decorate and celebrate in their homes and we can't wait to help the Albion Park community with all of their creative needs," he said.
On Thursday, Officeworks held its grand opening for its second store in the region as well.
Although slightly smaller than the Fairy Meadow location, Officeworks CFO and Balgownie boy Brendan Hargreaves, said the Albion Park location had the latest tech and layout, ready for Black Friday.
"It's one of six Officeworks around the country that's got out new tech layout that will make it easier for our customers to be able to shop tech."
Joining the Keira High and UOW alumn were his Mum and Dad Yvonne and Ross, as well as about thirty new staff to welcome new customers to the store.
Next door, Anaconda opened early before its official opening on Saturday.
Store manager Lachlan Mitchell said with the warmer weather and holidays just around the corner, customers were already picking up beach wagons, getaway chairs and Dune fridges.
The expanded range of fishing gear and larger footwear section compared with the Wollongong store were drawing customers, with Mr Mitchell saying it's already clear what the hot item this summer will be.
"Crocs! We seem to be constantly selling them."
Shoppers were positive about the centre, with Florence Rankin driving up from Jamberoo to check out Spotlight, Anaconda and Officeworks.
"It's a wonderful selection of businesses that are really useful," she said.
"It's easy to access and it's also spacious for parking."
Ian Laird was set to peruse the aisles at Officeworks, Sydney Tools and Spotlight, but arriving an hour later than Ms Rankin had a different experience of parking.
"Difficult at the moment, but we found it [a park] all right."
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