Monday, 16 October 2017

MILESTONE: Westfield Eastgardens turns 30 (1987)

Above: Two page spread from The Southern Courier in October 1987

Back in 2015, I provided an overview of the opening of Westfield Eastgardens in 1987.

To mark its 30th anniversary, I have managed to scan through copies of the Southern Courier which ran a series of features and advertisements to promote the opening of the centre. The centre was officially opened on October 19, 1987, with 1300 guests invited despite global share markets collapsing around them.

Sydney's "A" list stars were in attendance. NSW Governor Sir James Rowland, John Saunders and Frank Lowy (Westfield) presided over proceedings.  Interest in leasing the space was high with 750 applications made to lease retail space.

Above: Advertisement published in The Southern Courier on October 28, 1987, promoting transport options to the new centre. Some locals were initially unimpressed with transport options.

When the centre opened to the public on October 21, there were protests, but not about the centre itself. Fifty locals protested against changes to bus services in the area. Some services serving the area faced the axe while services to Eastgardens from nearby suburbs were inadequate.

Above: Two advertisements promoting the opening of the Super Kmart Store at Eastgardens as published in The Southern Courier in October 1987.

Super Kmart was unique to Eastgardens. It was a hypermart combining a discount department store and supermarket under one roof, modeled on hypermarts in the United States like Walmart, Target (USA) and Kmart (USA). In 1989, the Super Kmart brand was dropped by parent company Coles Myer. The space was divided into two, forming the current Coles and Kmart stores seen today.

Here were some of the opening specials at Super Kmart:

Below are advertisements for Target and David Jones:

Two years ago I had commented about the impact of the centre on Maroubra Junction retailers. Westfield was confident that normal trading conditions would return to the area, but did not eventuate. Not even the presence of Grace Bros at Marboura Junction helped. Grace Bros fell victim itself!!!

Recently, I went for a drive to Eastgardens. The 1987 signage is still visible today.

And another two advertisements that I found that were published in the lead up to Opening Day.

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