A bargain retailer has thrown open its doors in Rayleigh High Street with first 100 customers flooding in within "a matter of minutes".

Quality Discounts (QD) opened today in the former M&Co building, in 66-72 High Street, with a ribbon cutting event.

Councillors Danielle Belton and Sarah-Jane Page cut the ribbon to officially open the business as eager shoppers queued outside to get their hands on the first 100 goody bags.

Echo: Inside the new storeInside the new store (Image: Councillor Danielle Belton)

Danielle Belton, chairman of Rayleigh Town Council, said: "An exciting day for Rayleigh with the official opening of Quality Discounts on the High Street.

"The first 100 customers received a fantastic goody bag - they lasted a matter of minutes with residents eager to see what was on offer!

"Councillor Sarah-Jane Page and I were delighted to cut the ribbon and welcome this new, family-owned business to our town!

"The whole team of over 20 employees are lovely and are looking forward to meeting you all."

Echo: Councillors Sarah-Jane Page and Danielle Belton helped to open the store todayCouncillors Sarah-Jane Page and Danielle Belton helped to open the store today (Image: Councillor Danielle Belton)

The QD Group is an independent, family-owned chain of High Street discount stores with more than 50 across the country.

It replaces the former M&Co shop which stood empty since the end of last year after the firm plunged into administration – resulting in nearly 2,000 jobs being lost.

This new QD store has created 26 new full and part-time jobs in the town.