WATCH: Shoppers flock to grand opening of new Hartlepool Marks & Spencers store

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Keen shoppers flocked to a Hartlepool retail park for the grand opening of a new shop.

Dozens of people waited at the doors as the new M&S foodhall officially welcomed the public for the first time.

Store manager Andrea Maxwell (front right) cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Maks & Spencer Food Hall on Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday

Store manager Andrea Maxwell (front right) cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Maks & Spencer Food Hall on Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday

Store manager Andrea Maxwell cut the ribbon to mark the moment that the 8,000 sq ft store at the Anchor Retail Park began trading.

She said: “We’re committed to providing our customers with a new and improved shopping experience so it’s a big day for us.”

Early arrival Isabella Potter, 75, from Oxford Road, turned up one hour before the opening to make sure she was at the head of the queue.

The retired beauty consultant said: “I am looking forward to having a lovely cup of coffee in the new restaurant, then taking a long look round and buying something for my tea.”

M&S has been a favourite among shoppers in Hartlepool for more than 120 years so it is no surprise that so many people have turned out to see what all the fuss is about

Andrea Maxwell, store manager

Joan Nicholson, 66, from Dale Park in Hartlepool, said it was “exciting” to see the new store and the different types of food.

But like many early arrivals, the 50 seater cafe was going to be “the first port of call”.

The store will provide shoppers with more than 4,500 food and drink lines, and an in-store bakery. Andrea added: “The opening of the new store has been the talk of the town recently so it is a real thrill to have finally opened our doors and welcomed customers inside.

“M&S has been a favourite among shoppers in Hartlepool for more than 120 years so it is no surprise that so many people have turned out to see what all the fuss is about.”

First customers in the new Marks & Spencer food hall, Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday

First customers in the new Marks & Spencer food hall, Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool on Wednesday

The store employs 85 people, including 25 new recruits.

One of the first customers at the new Marks & Spencer Food Hall at Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool was Isabella Potter

One of the first customers at the new Marks & Spencer Food Hall at Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool was Isabella Potter

One of the first customers the the new Marks & Spence food hall at the Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool was Joan Nicholson

One of the first customers the the new Marks & Spence food hall at the Anchor Retail Park, Hartlepool was Joan Nicholson