BACK in 1987, Naracoorte welcomed a "new era in country shopping" with the opening of Kincraig Plaza.
The $6 million shopping hub was a first for residents who had expressed an urgent request for improved and enlarged shopping facilities in the town.
After two independent surveys on regional shopping needs by Melbourne-based company Shah Corporation and Woolworths, the centre was given the green light to be built.
It officially opened at 8.30am on March 17.
Developed by the Shah Corporation, major tenant Woolworths moved in with eight other specialty stores.
Many local businesses were employed to help build the retail centre, boosting the local economy.
The Shah Corporation's director Peter Hardiman was proud to be associated with the companies that helped in the development stages.
"It is of some note that contractors of the calibre and capacity required to satisfy our demanding standards have been available throughout the district," he said at the time.
Mr Hardiman first visited Naracoorte two years earlier on an "opportunity search mission".
"I was particularly impressed by the reception I got and the attitude of the local people in offering whatever assistance they could to help me realise the opportunities I sought within the framework of their established town plan," he recalled.
Woolworths had originally discussed the expansion of their existing shop which was on the corner of Robertson St and McRae St, but instead decided to put $5 million towards the development of a new store in the plaza.
The 50,000 square foot supermarket was designed to satisfy customers' needs with larger aisles and an extended grocery range.
SA Woolworths general manager at the time Ralph Mead said he believed the store would be "extremely successful".
The store was one of the first "new generation" supermarkets to be built in SA with everything from freshly-baked bread to hardware items.
Seventy new jobs were made available, bringing the staff total to about 120, and many locals were employed in full-time, part-time and casual positions.
Foot traffic in Kincraig Plaza was expected to be between 11,000 and 12,000 shoppers each week, so ample car parking was built to cater for the demand.It was anticipated that the centre would not only entice local shoppers but also those from a large area of the SE and Western Victoria.
Being the geographical centre of the SE, Naracoorte provided the perfect location for a retail precinct that would attract customers from further afield.
Over the years Kincraig Plaza has seen a number of stores come and go.
Long-time locals might remember Snoopy's, Country Denim, Kincraig Plaza Newsagency, Country Cane and Decor, Indulge Hair and Beauty, One Zero Communication, Linen Depot, Jaksdaks, Aladdin Computers and Mac's Coffee Corner. The centre has also been home to South East Disposal, Latest Release and Sheets and Stuff at some point in its 25-year history.