Canvey shoppers queued in the January morning cold… to be the first customers into the town’s newest pound shop.
Poundland opened up on Saturday morning in the former 99p Store unit, in Furtherwick Road, with management claiming more than 100 people queued up for the store’s grand opening.
Poundland, which took over the 99p Store business over last year, decided to re-brand the Canvey discount outlet opposite the Knightswick Centre, to give residents a “cleaner and fresher” store.
The first 100 people who entered the new shop were given a £5 voucher.
Business manager Lee McQuade said: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic opening this morning, we had queues down the road with over 100 people waiting for the store to be opened.
“The feedback we have had has been very good, and the staff, the majority of whom are from Canvey, have done a sterling job in getting everything ready for the opening.”
Shoppers queue for Poundland
The rebrand had created six new jobs for the island, while he added if Poundland’s strong start is maintained, there will be a further five roles created.
It was due to open up on Friday, but was delayed a day to give shoppers the best “experience” possible.
And the brisk morning didn’t put off bargain hunters, who formed a long queue down Furtherwick Road.
Nicky Thane, 39, of Hilton Road, Canvey, was third in the line, and said: “Shops like these on Canvey are really good as it means we don’t have to leave the island.
“I liked 99p Store but thought it got a bit rubbish, and I had to go to Pitsea if I wanted to visit Poundland.”
She spent her vouchers on black boxes and some children’s toys.
Town centre high streets are often criticised for the amount of discount shops that spring up in them, but Mr McQuade said that is what people what.
He added: “People vote with their feet – if they didn’t like us they wouldn’t use us.
“But there were plenty of people that have turned up today.”