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Crowds greet new DIY Express store opening

Huge crowds began queuing outside the Haskins Retail Centre in Shepton Mallet just after 7am on Saturday.

But it became quickly evident they were not there to catch a glimpse of gardening and designer celebrities Charlie Dimmock and Julia Kendell – nor even town council chairman Chris Inchley and the famous Dulux dog Don for the official opening of the new DIY Express store.

The keen queuers were there to be first in line to snap up the 100 free 23-piece tool boxes on offer to the first lucky punters through the doors.

In fact pressure from the crowds was so great that startled store bosses had to open the doors early to hand the tool boxes out.

Also waiting to greet the crowds was Suzie Nixon from Right Price DIY, "Shepton Mallet's only independent DIY store."

She was handing out her own 20 per cent off vouchers and eager to point out to shoppers that she and her husband Mark have successfully been running their business down the road at Downside since 1996 – and had seen off Focus from the town last year.

"Well, you've got to give it a go," said Suzie.

But as the official opening time of 10am neared new crowds assembled and there were huge cheers as the celebrities cut the tape to declare the town's latest DIY store open.

Councillor Inchley said he warmly welcomed the arrival of DIY Express. He said he was delighted to see "in these hard times that such a big operation has the confidence to open a store in Shepton Mallet".

It would, he said, be good for the town, and he hopes it will encourage shoppers from the giant Townsend Retail Park opposite "to take the plunge to cross the road" and support the town centre businesses.

The new store has created 20 new jobs.

Source : Shepton Mallet Journal

29 March 2012
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