Over 3,000 people attended the grand opening of Surangel Supercenter in Ngetkib, Airai, yesterday, the largest crowd attending a private event ever in Palau.
Cars filled over 350 available parking spaces at the new store in Ngetkib, with more parked along the side of the road from KB Bridge to KB Shell Gas Station, filling up the entire Surangel batch plant and marina area open areas, the Palau Mortuary parking space and on the Compact road toward Ochelochel.
The grand opening date coincided with the Labor Day holiday giving many people the opportunity to attend the event.
People braved the crowd and the 3-hour long opening program to see what the store looked like inside. The modern and innovative-looking building has had people curious to see what was inside.
“I have been waiting to see what’s inside, and I’ve been here since before 10 am, so I am not leaving. I really want to see,” said Liz, a Palauan lady with a young kid enjoying the crowd.
The store, the largest commercial space in Palau, is the first mall-like store in Palau, having different types of stores under one roof, including a food court, restaurants, and a car showroom, among others.
The Supercenter opened its first floor to customers while others floors are still undergoing final touches. The huge crowd outside the building pushed into the store after it opened its doors, creating a traffic jam indoors as eager people jostled in to see what was new.
“It is about time we have something like this,” Effie, a customer from Airai said of the store’s convenience. The store introduced a new service, the curb-side service, where customers can leave their paid items on the cart with an attendant and bring their car to the curbside to be loaded up.
“I will come back tonight to shop when it is not too crowded,” said another customer who had walked through aisles in the stores noting what he planned to return to buy.
The location of Surangel Supercenter sits at the entrance to Babeldaob and Koror and provides the people of Babeldoab more accessible location for their shopping needs, avoiding the congestion in central Koror.