On Monday of last week (9th August) I had the very pleasant task of officiating at the opening of the new Morrisons store in New Milton.
Once again the community of New Milton turned out to show their support for this very welcome addition to our High Street. It was particularly pleasing that along with the Town Clerk, whom I had asked to escort me, a number of our Town Councillors also turned out to support this opening and take the opportunity to meet with Morrisons representatives as well as members of the public.
I think that we were all impressed with the new store, it appeared user friendly and bright and welcoming. Not only that but I understand that approximately 80% of those now employed at the store had formerly been unemployed. Not only good for them personally but also for us as a Town.
After a tour round the store and some photographs a group of us were invited to enjoy coffee and pastries upstairs away from the crush of people eager to see what Morrisons had to offer. I was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and also a cheque for £250 towards the Mayor’s Community Fund – both of which were very much appreciated.
I visited the store on the Tuesday evening and spoke with the Assistant Manager, Russell, who said that the footfall on the first day had exceeded their expectations. They had expected in the region of 1500 people and over 3000 had come through the door. Takings had also been much better than hoped.
I am sure that we all wish Morrisons every success. They have certainly had an extremely positive impact on the north end of the High Street. Not only that but the reports from those living near the store have reported that they did everything they could to minimise disruption during the refurbishment process – well done them !