The Liquor Commission has granted applications by retail giants Coles and Woolworths to open liquor stores in the Margaret River town centre, dismissing concerns from locals the outlets would be disastrous to the region's "brand".
The separate applications from Woolworths and Coles-owned Liquorland to open "moderately sized" liquor stores in the town were granted this week by the commission.
It said the outlets would offer more competition and convenience for the area's 12,000 residents and more than one million visitors. The applications attracted fierce criticism from a wide section of the Margaret River community who feared the retail giants would "diminish if not destroy" the carefully built "brand" or image of Margaret River statewide, nationally and internationally.
But the commission rejected this argument.Margaret River Hotel and Settlers Tavern spokeswoman Rachel House said they were disappointed by the commission's decision and its inability to see how the proposed stores would detract from the character of the town.