MORRISONS has opened its doors to eager shoppers.
The supermarket, on Ampthill Road, in Bedford, was officially opened this morning (August 19) with consumers queueing outside to get in.
Store Manager Ben Daley said: "It's outstanding the number of people we have seen this morning, it just reflects the need for another supermarket in Bedford.
"I think any time there's more competition in a town the winner is the consumer and we do a lot of stuff completely differently to other supermarkets.
"165 of our staff were previously unemployed so it's good for economic development and it'll be great for the town.
"Access is really good from the town and from the A6 and its a lovely big site.
"It's big enough to be able to do what we want and we can cater for different demographics."
Last week Bedfordshire on Sunday discovered the supermarket was carrying out background checks on its employees, raising questions over the privacy of those involved.
Mr Daley said: "I can understand why people may have been concerned about the CRB checks.
"We do these checks for the right reasons, I believe our customers want to know they are being served by the right people."
The first customer through the shop doors this morning was 62-year-old Doreen Palmer who started queueing at 7.40am.
The retiree said: "I arrived at 7.40am for the opening and I was the first in the door. It looks brilliant. Everyone was looking forward to it.
"Everything is put up out clearly whereas other supermarkets you have to look for it."
Mayor Dave Hodgson also graced the supermarket with his presence this morning.
He said: "It will provide choice and competition and I think it's about the jobs and the opportunities, and this site since the turn of the millennium didn't have anything built on it.
"When you have a big supermarket other businesses will want to come around it.
"It'll be good for the whole Ampthill Road site. We've got a B & Q coming shortly and a Simply M & S coming."