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Case Study – Woolworths Yarrawonga

In 2022, Mainbrace’s supermarket refurbishment builders delivered another project for our long-term client Woolworths at Yarrawonga in regional Victoria, near the NSW border. The project encountered major challenges toward its end, as the area faced severe flooding which closed the roads in and out of the rural town. Yet the delay in Mainbrace’s handover, in the end, was limited to mere days.

The benefits of an award-winning builder

Leading Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne retail builder Mainbrace tendered for the project and was awarded the job based on our extensive knowledge of Woolworths’ unique needs and its team. The contract was valued at approximately $1.7 million and work commenced in July 2022. Project Manager Tom Burn oversaw the 15-week program to rejuvenate the full-line 4,000 sqm supermarket, modernising and enhancing it to be compatible with the rest of the Woolworth’s store network.

The revitalised, new-look Yarrawonga Woolworths supermarket included extensive renovations to deliver new front-end and Deli and Bakery areas. The project also included a renovated home delivery area to enhance the offer to remote locations. New flooring was laid throughout, and the store now features the latest electronic shelf-edge labelling technology. Refurbishment of the adjacent BWS store was also part of the project.

During work, a 100% recyclable hoarding solution was implemented by our sustainable builders as Mainbrace collaborated with UK company Plasloc to use its environmentally clean hoarding alternative – a first for Woolworths.

Major weather, minor impact

With generally wet weather throughout the duration of the refurbishment, towards the end of the project floods devastated the local area. As a result, the role and importance of the store to the community were elevated.

Mainbrace achieved handover in November 2022 and the store opened later that month with fantastic feedback from Woolworths. The pre-summer timing of the handover was important as the store is a big seasonal trader. This was a significant achievement: merely days after the original schedule, and despite the huge challenges associated with access and supplies amid flooding to the area.

A valuable part of the community

Between 10 and 20 Mainbrace team members were on site each day, most of whom had temporarily relocated to the area to undertake the work within a tight timeframe. We facilitated this to minimise disruption to Woolworths and the local community. This was especially critical given the unprecedented need of the local people for accessible groceries during the floods and the subsequent recovery period.

The camaraderie among the team was a highlight for us throughout this project. There was a strong focus on engaging local tradespeople and contractors to be part of the delivery team, and each fortnight members from the Mainbrace, Woolworths, and subcontractor teams would get together to bond as a collective.

The high-quality result of Woolworths Yarrawonga speaks for itself – optimising convenience for shoppers and Woolworths’ team members as well as enhancing the supermarket shopping experience for the local community.

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