KEEN shoppers flooded into the newly-opened Marks & Spencer Foodhall this morning (October 7).
The much-anticipated store opened on the Arun Retail Park, in Bognor Regis, at 10am.
“It’s an amazing thing,” said new store manager Steve Lake, who cut the ribbon. “To open a brand new store with new staff, it’s got to be one of the proudest parts of being a store manager.”
He described the foodhall as a ‘new concept’ for Marks and Spencer, with it just dealing with the food side of things. As the ribbon was cut a crowd of people had gather to enter the new store.
One of the very first was Colin Butterworth, from Hook Lane, in Bognor.
“It’s brilliant, it’s saved such a trek going up to Chichester when you need anything from Marks,” he said.
He described it as a ‘nice store’ saying it was a lot bigger than he had expected.
“Really, the only time we go up to Chichester is probably Marks & Spencer or shops like that, where you’ve not got it in Bognor,” he said.
Mr Lake added that the new store recruited 50 members of staff.
“We had all the people in the job centre saying how much they couldn’t wait for us to open in Bognor because it’s been 25 years since we’ve been here,” he said.
Another shopper was Donna Hill, from Maple Gardens, in Bognor.
“It’s really good,” she said of the new store.
“Bognor needs something like this. It saves going all the way up to Chichester. Bognor is getting better.”
The new shop has been long-awaited, moving into the space vacated by Comet. And the retail park will soon welcome another new addition, with Next due to open up next to the foodhall in November.
Offering women’s, men’s and children’s clothes, plus a home section, Next is moving into the site formerly occupied by Kwik-Fit.
Another customer to the foodhall yesterday morning was former Marks and Spencer employee Mavis Burrows, of Mill View Road, Yapton.
“There’s only one word – great,” she said.
She used to work in the Worthing and Chichester branches.
“I was here at 10am,” she said. “I’m glad that I’m finding all that I would find in Chichester.”
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