New Morrisons opens in Gorleston

Dominic Bareham EAGER customers began queuing three hours before the official opening for the chance to experience the new Morrisons superstore in Gorleston, which opened on Monday (September 1).

Dominic Bareham

EAGER customers began queuing three hours before the official opening for the chance to experience the new Morrisons superstore in Gorleston, which opened on Monday (September 1).

Nearly 50 early birds were waiting outside the store 30 minutes before trade began at 9am and to judge from the overwhelmingly positive response from customers on the opening day, the store has a bright future ahead.

For former Gateway employee Nigel Rowland, 58, the new supermarket's Blackwall Reach site was familiar terrain as he worked as warehouse manager for Gateway and Somerfield, which Morrisons is replacing.

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The St Anne's Way resident in Belton arrived for the opening at 6am and was given the honour of being the first person through the door.

He said: “I was the first person to ever work in here when it was Somerfield and I wanted to be the first customer at Morrisons. I wanted to see what they had done and what improvements had been made.”

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Mr Rowland, who is off work due to ill health, was particularly impressed with the store's Market Street fresh food counters where customers can see meat and fish being freshly prepared and bread baked.

He believed the new store would save shoppers having to travel to other supermarkets in Great Yarmouth.

“I think it is fantastic, it really is. It is something that we have been waiting for for a long while,” he added.

John Francis, 72, of Bradwell, said: “I think it is good. I have been waiting for Morrisons to open in this area for years. Until now, I have always shopped in Beccles.”

The regular Morrisons shopper was visiting with his wife Freda and said staff tended to be friendlier than at other chains because the company was family-run and tended to value customer service.

Reg Harman, of Parkland Drive, Bradwell was visiting with his wife Elsie, 72.

He agreed Morrisons offered a more personal service and said: “I think it is brilliant. The choice of ranges in store, the value, everything. I think this store is a damn good choice.”

Peter Alexander, 40, of New College Close, Gorleston was pleased he would no longer have to travel to Lowestoft or Norwich to shop and could get the bus for the half mile journey from home to the new 39,000sq ft store.

He said: “It looks really good. I said to myself a long time ago it would be nice to have a Morrisons in Gorleston then I would not have to travel to Lowestoft or Norwich. It looks like there are loads of cheap products.”

Marlene Crook, 67, was visiting with her husband Herbert, 68, and said she liked the cleanliness of the store and the amount of space for shoppers to move about.

The Gorleston resident said: “I think the Yarmouth supermarkets will really feel it. I think it is lovely how it is set out and I am sure customers will come here.”

Yarmouth Mayor and Mayoress Terry and Jenny Easter cut the ribbon to open the new premises. Mr Easter said: “Gorleston residents are always saying they do not get anything but we have now got a Morrisons store and it should be as good as anything we have got in the town.”

The national chain has created an additional 130 jobs in the town on top of the 115 staff retained from the Somerfield store which closed in April.

As well as the Market Street counters the supermarket also has a café with 76 seats and parking for 218 vehicles, including 14 for disabled badge holders and 12 for parents and toddlers.

Opening hours for the store are 8am-8pm Monday to Wednesday and Saturday, 8am-9pm on Thursday and Friday and 10am-4pm on Sundays.

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