Tills ring as Newmarket's new B&M opens
After months of lying empty, one of Newmarket’s largest retail units has re-opened.
On Saturday, discount store B&M opened the doors to its new outlet in The Guineas shopping centre, with town mayor Cllr Rachel Hood joining store employees and David Turner, from Newmarket Town FC, in cutting the ribbon. The football club was chosen by staff members to receivea £250 donation to mark the opening.
The 8,500sqft store has had an extensive re-fit since it was last used as a branch of Marks and Spencer and now has a larger shopping area, new lighting and air conditioning.
Store manager Aaron O’Neil said: “The new store has been really busy since the doors first opened and the feedback from customers has been great so far.”
And deputy manager Kesh Parmar,said on opening day the new outlet was so busy queues had stretched around the store.
“We are extremely pleased with the sales figures,” said Mr Parmar, who has worked for the company for more than six years.
“On day one we took more than we were expecting but we will see if it settles down – for the size of the store we have got more than predicted.”
The store is one of the national chain’s smallest, with the average size of its outlets being around 18,500sqft. The discount retailer replaces M&S as the The Guineas’ flagship store. The retailer closed the branch last year as part of its move away from smaller stores to online shopping and larger food-only supermarkets.
Mr Parmar said: “We have spoken to customers and people miss Marks and Spencer’s but they are really happy for us to be here, especially the elderly generation because it’s a convenience store.”
With the opening of the Newmarket branch B&M, which opened its first outlet in Blackpool 41 years ago, created 40 new jobs. It has also recently launched new stores in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft.
More by this authorDan Barker