Dozens of eager shoppers queue for opening of Next store in Huntingdon

The queue outside the new Next store in Huntingdon.

The queue outside the new Next store in Huntingdon. - Credit: Archant

Excited shoppers queued to be the first through the doors of the new Next outlet in Huntingdon.

About 100 people covered the length of the TK Maxx shop next door before the countdown to the opening of the store.

Next, which includes a Costa, has opened in the new retail development behind Chequers Court, marking a return to the town after the closure of its former branch – which happened as the firm was understood to be looking to relocate to bigger premises.

The Churchmanor Estates Company, which built the new shopping area, said it was “delighted” to see the opening of the store.

Stephen Clark, a director, said: “After the hugely successful opening of Marks and Spencer Foodhall some weeks ago, we are delighted that Next have now opened their doors.

“Next is returning to Huntingdon after some five years, in a much bigger store, which shows their commitment to the town and we are excited to be a part of the growth that Huntingdon Town Centre is undergoing.”

Marks and Spencer opened its food hall last month, also marking a return to Huntingdon, and fashion firm TK Maxx will open on October 12.

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Cards Direct has already opened a store in the development where Café Nero is also set to move in.

Churchmanor, which has also refurbished two nearby units in Chequers Court, said further new names were to be released.

The development is the second phase of a town centre scheme which saw the opening of shops, including Sainsbury’s, some years ago and the construction of a multi-storey car park provided by Huntingdonshire District Council.

Andy Moffat, from the council, said: “Chequers Shopping Centre development began some six years ago with planning permission being granted in 2011 and then the demolition of the tax office in 2013.”

The former underground car park, shops and the old post office in Chequers Court, a 1960s shopping area, were also knocked down as part of the redevelopment.