CROWDS of shoppers turned out to the opening of the new Marks & Spencer Simply Food store in Wellingborough yesterday.
The store, in the Castlefields Retail Park, was officially opened at 10am with a ribbon cutting.
Many shoppers had already gathered outside so they could be among the first to have a look inside.
The 9,200 sq ft store stocks 4,000 lines of food and features a 50-seat cafe and an in-store bakery.
Wendy Bonner, of Earls Barton, signed a petition in 1984 urging M&S to come to Wellingborough.
She said: “I have always gone to M&S for my shopping, I go to Northampton on a Friday and Milton Keynes once a month to stock up. I’m very pleased it is here in Wellingborough, it’s a very good store for the limited amount of space. There’s a good range.”
Gerry Codd, of Queensway, Wellingborough, said: “I think it’s really good, I like M&S anyway. It’s a good thing to have in Wellingborough, I think it might bring more people in from other areas.”
Mandy Davies, of Queensway, Wellingborough, said: “I think it’s absolutely wonderful. I think we will come to the shop a lot. It’s been a long time coming.”
John Beattie, of Wharton Close, Wellingborough, said: “It’s good to have M&S in Wellingborough, it’s one of the best stores.”
Store manager Neil Brown said: “Customers have been waiting for an M&S in this area for a long time. It was a great turnout for the opening.”
The store will open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.