B&M Barnstaple attracts thousands.

A budget retail store (B&M) which has created more than 80 jobs in Barnstaple has received thousands of visitors in its opening week.

The new B&M store, which has taken over the former Focus DIY store in Coney Avenue, Newport, opened its doors on Saturday.

The 33,000sq ft store and garden centre, which was officially opened by town mayor Lesley Brown, offers a wide variety of branded and own label products including groceries, toiletries, paint, soft furnishings, home and gardening products.

Store manager Brian Spence said the launch had been hugely successful.

He said: ?It?s one of the most successful launches of a B&M store. There was always going to be nerves beforehand about opening the first store in Devon but we?re really pleased with the response.

?It?s been fantastic and people seem really pleased with it. I?m really proud to be here.?

Mr Spence said the store received 25% more visitors in the first four days than had been expected.

He said: ?We?re delighted with the customer numbers and the feedback we?ve been getting.

?The general consensus is that there?s nothing like it for miles.?

Mr Spence said 74 staff members and more than 10 managers had been appointed at the store, with almost all being recruited from the local area.

He said: ?We?ve predominantly recruited people from Barnstaple but there are also employees from Braunton and Bideford.

?Everyone who has started working here already lived within a 20 minute radius of the store.?

Journal readers have welcomed the new store, including Joan Perrin, from Ilfracombe, who visited it on the opening day.

She said: ?It?s very good, they sell almost everything. It?s quite reasonable.?

Dave Phipps said it was a ?great bonus for Barnstaple? and Averil Roberts said: ?It?s about time we had a store like this, it?s fantastic.?

Meanwhile Elizabeth Tucker said: ?Investment in our local economy has to be a good thing, doesn?t it??

B&M is open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, 8am to 7pm on Saturdays and 10.30pm to 4.30pm on Sundays.

Read more:?http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/New-budget-retail-store-B-M-Barnstaple-attracts/story-20071316-detail/story.html#ixzz2l0tPpqGQ

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