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New store opens in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 10:15 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 06 July 2010

THE ribbon is cut to open the new Wilkinson store.

THE ribbon is cut to open the new Wilkinson store.

QUEUES formed early yesterday (Thursday) as the curtain raised on the latest store to open in Lowestoft.

Value home and garden store Wilkinson was opened by Lowestoft mayor Malcolm Cherry and TV and pantomime star Dave Benson Phillips, as shoppers waited eagerly to see what the new store in Gordon Road had to offer.

QUEUES formed early yesterday (Thursday) as the curtain raised on the latest store to open in Lowestoft.

Value home and garden store Wilkinson was opened by Lowestoft mayor Malcolm Cherry and TV and pantomime star Dave Benson Phillips, as shoppers waited eagerly to see what the new store in Gordon Road had to offer.

The family-owned chain teamed up with the town's Marina Theatre for the launch, with the panto favourite, who will be playing Buttons in Cinderella, giving out free family tickets to the first five through the door. The first 100 were also given a two-for-one voucher for pantomime tickets, with the next 2,000 given £3 off vouchers.

The opening of the store, in the former Somerfield building, is another welcome boost to Lowestoft's shopping centre, following the recent opening of Peacocks and QD Stores, in nearly London Road North.

The creation of Wilkinson also brought with it 88 new jobs to the town, with some of the vacancies filled by former Woolworths workers and some long-term unemployed.

Store manager Marek Mrotek said: “The staff have put in a lot of hard work over the last 12 days. It's been a 24-hour operation putting everything in place.”

Mr Mrtoek was joined by Wilkinson family director Lisa Wilkinson and chief executive Stuart Mitchell

at the opening, when they presented the Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Aid

and Assist Project with £250 of Wilkinson vouchers.

A further £250 donation was made to East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), while Mr Benson Phillips, former presenter of Get Your Own Back, remained in store during the morning to sell cakes for the charity.

The entertainment is to set to continue tomorrow at a family fun day in the store.


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