Local buyer to reopen historic co-op

Saskia AdystiGreat Southern Herald
The BKW Co-op trades as IGA, Cellarbrations, Makit Hardware, Bi-Rite Electrical and Telstra in Katanning.
Camera IconThe BKW Co-op trades as IGA, Cellarbrations, Makit Hardware, Bi-Rite Electrical and Telstra in Katanning.

The rollercoaster ride to save the 98-year-old Katanning Co-operative shop has taken another loop, with the shop expected to reopen its doors after a local buyer purchased the store.

As revealed by the Great Southern Herald last week, Katanning BKW Co-operative shop was reviewing a new offer from a potential local buyer after closing its doors on September 15.

BKW Co-op administrator Neil Cribb has since informed members that Adrian Richardson’s offer to purchase the co-op has been successful.

“On behalf of Mr Adrian Richardson representing the purchasing parties, we are pleased to advise an in-principle conditional agreement has been reached for the purchase of select residual stock, plant and equipment, and land and buildings,” he said.

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“The parties will now move to prepare legal documentation to formalise the agreements and relevant terms and conditions.”

Mr Richardson, who moved to Katanning in 1984 and was appointed as the inaugural treasurer for Katanning Landcare in 1990, said he would be looking to reopen the store in five weeks.

“In that time, we will be looking to improve and change the store layout,” he said.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the community and also support from local investors, who are prepared to financially back the purchase. We are going to retain the name and call the building ‘Co-op Shopping Complex’ but it will no longer trade as BKW Co-op trading.”

Mr Richardson said he received financial support from local business groups in Katanning, Broomehill and Woodanilling, who were rallying to save the co-op.

Their initial offer was first rejected by the administrator but their second offer proved to be successful.

“All these local business groups rallied to save the co-op because Katanning desperately needs to have this type of retail business in town.

“The social and community aspect of the co-op is unlike anything compared to any other stores in town.

“There’s no other shop like it.”

Mr Richardson said Valerie Hair Salon and Emu Lane cafe have indicated their return to the shopping complex as well.

He added he was looking forward to reopening the store with new stock to offer customers.

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