More than 150 queue as Team GB’s Nicholas Dempsey opens new Aldi supermarket in Dereham
- Credit: Ian Burt
More than 150 people queued in cold weather to get their first glimpse of the new Aldi supermarket in Dereham this morning.
The store, off Yaxham Road, close to the McDonald's fast food restaurant and Greenstone pub, was officially opened by Team GB windsurfer Nicholas Dempsey at 8am.
The new supermarket has created 25 jobs, with Aldi still recruiting for a variety of roles.
Many in the queue felt positive about the impact the supermarket will have on Dereham.
Concerns remain, however, about how the store could affect traffic at the southern end of the town, which is frequently gridlocked.
There are also fears about how another supermarket in Dereham could impact on local traders.
Dereham mayor Phillip Duigan, who attended this morning's opening, said: 'There is a lot of positive feeling here today and it is always good to bring new jobs to Dereham.
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'But I don't think it will help the traffic problems up here.'
He added: 'I think the impact will be mainly on the other supermarkets in this part of town, but the town centre is always a concern.
'Breckland Council is keen to look at market towns, in general, and Dereham Town Council will be involved in finding ways to encourage more people to use local businesses.'
The queue was swelled by the fact that the store handed out 100 golden envelopes, each containing tickets to win a range of prizes including cycle sat navs, televisions, wildlife cameras, radios and bags of Aldi shopping.
Members of the Dereham branch of the Royal British Legion collected donations.
Mary Brayn, 65, who stood in the queue, said: 'I like Aldi and I think it's brilliant that they've opened a store in Dereham.
'Hundreds of new houses will be built in Dereham so new businesses are needed.
'We also need more doctors and the schools are overcrowded - these are issues which the councils will need to sort out.
'But having an Aldi is great for Dereham.
'We moved here just under a year ago and think Dereham is a wonderful place - the people are so friendly.
'There are a lot of excellent small shops in the town and I think people will continue to shop in the town centre.'
June Leroy, 58, from Shipdham, said: 'I've been waiting for years for an Aldi to come to Dereham.
'There are traffic problems in the town but people should walk more and bike more.'
Amber Greentree, 27, from Dereham, said: 'It gives people more choice and we have lots of traffic here anyway.
'It's good to use local business, as well, like the local butchers and I think people will continue to do that.'
Helen Codman, 36, from Dereham, said: 'I will shop here regularly.
'I'll continue to use local traders and I think the main impact will be on the other out of town supermarkets - Tesco and Lidl.'
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