25 October 2023

CEQ set to open 'remote store of the future' in Bamaga

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Wide shot showing new store from outside

The new IBIS will bring “city supermarket-style shopping” to Bamaga. Photo: Community Enterprise Queensland.

Not-for-profit remote store operator Community Enterprise Queensland (CEQ) has confirmed a new and improved IBIS Bamaga store after successfully passing the initial trial period.

The store, which began construction in September 2022, is a first-ever concept store with the goal of improving the shopping experience for remote First Nations communities.

CEQ Chief Executive Officer Michael Dykes said the “ground-breaking new store” creates an experience for customers that is not currently available in remote communities in Australia.

“By bringing city supermarket-style shopping, healthier food options, and an array of innovative concepts to Bamaga, CEQ is determined to redefine the retail landscape in the region,” he said.

The store includes:

  • Bulk buys, “Deadly Deals”, exclusive product range not typically found in remote stores
  • eMarket kiosks for ordering additional product lines not available in store
  • Self-service cafe offering a range of healthy meal options
  • Active promotion of healthy food options, removal of confectionery from checkouts
  • Instructional resources enabling community members to grow their own produce
  • Eco-friendly shopping trolleys made from recycled milk bottles
  • Bakery, including fresh bread and rolls
  • Merchandising space supporting local First Nations businesses
  • Free fruit for children
  • Increased shop floor trading area of approximately 800 square metres – almost double the size of the previous store
  • Energy-efficient refrigeration with backup equipment to prevent loss of product
  • Undercover parking and special bays for RV’s and trailers
  • Unique range and services specially focused on seniors who live in the community
Inside store showing the Deadly Deals section.

Remote store customers will be able to save with the new “Deadly Deals” available. Photo: Community Enterprise Queensland.

It also features HappyOrNot customer feedback to kiosks to gauge the success of the services offered at the Bamaga store.

Mr Dykes said CEQ will use the feedback to decide which initiatives could potentially be rolled out to other IBIS and ABIS stores across CEQ’s remote store network.

“These new stores show how we are reinvesting in infrastructure to increase capacity, employment, quality and affordability in communities,” he said.

“We would like to thank the Traditional Owners for their continued support for the community in making this happen.”

The official opening will take place at 8:30 am on Thursday (26 October), with representatives from Ipima Ikaya Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, Apudthama Land Trust, Bamaga People Indigenous Corporation, and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council in attendance, as well as CEQ Board of Management, CEQ team members, and the wider community of the Northern Peninsula Area.

CEQ is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for providing goods and essential services to the Torres Strait, Northern Peninsula Area (NPA), mainland Aboriginal remote communities, and Palm Island through its 28 stores. CEQ manages Islanders Board of Industry and Service (IBIS) and Aboriginal Business, Industry and Service (ABIS) stores, as well as other stores including Col Jones, Mona’s Bazaar and Mitre 10 on Thursday Island.

For more information on CEQ, visit www.ceqld.org.au.

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