AROUND 300 people queued outside a new retail store in Worcester from 5.50am to wait for the shop doors to open.

The Range, in Hylton Road, officially opened in the city this morning (December 20).

Customers began arriving outside the store - which is based on the site of the former Homebase - from 5.50am.

Customers waited in a lengthy queue in the pouring rain, whilst the first 50 shoppers won a giveaway prize.

Store manager, Vincent Lee said: “The first customer arrived at 5.50am – she was even here before us.

"We all got here for 6am this morning. We had a few things we still had to do. All the cleaning was done last night.

“We were looking forward to opening the doors this morning. A good 300 customers were waiting outside.”

Mr Lee added: “We have had some support from the job centre in Worcester as well.

"Around one third of the people we have hired have come from the job centre. They have been given an opportunity.


Worcester dad barred from pub after making complaint

Woman thanks rough sleeper after he helped her change car tyre

"It’s been fabulous. It’s been hard work, but we kept each other motivated and looked after each other.”

Sara Clark arrived at the store at 6.30am, adding: “We are here for the freebies. We wanted to be the first in the queue. It’s something to do on a Friday morning.

“There’s been a lovely atmosphere here. We have had a good giggle and met some nice people.”

Candi Phillips, who had been waiting outside since 8.10am, said: “I am hopefully going to get my Christmas presents sorted today.”

Emma McCrudden, who had brought her daughter Macy with her to shop, said: “I am looking for some bargains today. I am on a mission to find a Christmas centrepiece."

The new store has created 85 full and part-time jobs. These include store and department managers, warehouse assistants and retail administrators.

Customers will be able to discover more than 65,000 products in The Range’s home, garden and leisure selections.

The store also has a family cafe, large outdoor garden centre, and an Iceland Foods will be welcomed in the new year.

The store was opened by the Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Allah Ditta, at 9am.

Cllr Ditta said: “People keep coming in, it’s wonderful to see. Everyone has been really cheerful, despite the weather, it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.”

The opening of the Worcester store comes as the chain has expanded across the country, which is now operating more than 175 stores.