THIRTY-Three years ago Jane Simpson from Peak Hill wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Liberal saying that there should be a Kmart store in Dubbo.
Her reasons are similar to those that have been used by community groups over the years - that people would travel to Orange, that jobs would be created and that Dubbo is expanding, therefore needing a greater variety of services.
Today, 33-years on her wish has come true.
Without much fan-fare Kmart opened their doors at 8am on Thursday morning.
COVID restrictions put a dampener on the usual plans for a new store opening which in other locations in the past has looked very different.
But that's okay, because for a number of people in town, the opening of this shop is a great thing - as we write this the day before the store opens, we are expecting to see a crowd at the shopping centre early on Thursday morning ahead of the opening.
Facebook groups, a push from council, and reports in the Daily Liberal over the years show just how popular the decision for Wesfarmers is to bring the store here.
And while it's part of their change in branding for Target and Kmart stores across the country, it's been a popular decision within the community.
Because of the enthusiasm around Dubbo to the news we are surprised by how quiet things have happened.
Target slowly de-stocked and closed their doors a few days earlier than anticipated.
And now, a bit over a fortnight later Kmart will open possibly just as quietly.
A Welcome to Country will be performed by a representative from the Aboriginal Land Council and Dubbo mayor Ben Shields will be present to speak with staff.
But that's it.
With the store wanted by many in the community for this long, it's a surprising opening. But one that shows just how much COVID-19 has changed our lives.
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