Eager shoppers queue up for new Aldi in Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 11:50 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 09 April 2018
Eager shoppers began queuing as early as 6am to be the first inside the new Aldi store in Welwyn Garden City today.
Olympic gold medallist Tim Baillie was handing out vouchers for free fruit and veg to the first customers to arrive.
Music was playing from loud speakers and free breakfast was also available.
First in the queue at the new Bessemer Road supermarket were friends, Sharon and Kelly, who live in the Chequers area of Welwyn Garden City.
Sharon, 50, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I’ve always wanted an Aldi store here.
“I can’t wait to go in.”
Kelly added: “I have been looking forward to it opening and also meeting the Olympic gold medallist.
“This store is on our doorstep.”
Mum-of-two Siobhann McKechnie, 28, was in the queue with her children.
Siobhann, of Thistle Grove, said; “I have been here since 7am.
“It’s nice not to have to go to Hatfield to go to Aldi.
“It’s a good location here.
“My daughter is excited about going in to meet the Olympic gold medallist.”
Colleagues Amanda Hewett and Sam Calvert joined the queue at 7.30am.
Lab technician Amanda, 49, said: “I’m excited.
“I only live round the corner.
“My boss Sam has agreed for us to come here before we go to work.
“We work in the business park in Hatfield.
“It’s about time we had an Aldi in Welwyn Garden City.”
Mark Cuthbert re-arranged his working hours to that he could drive his mum Shirley Cuthbert to the Aldi opening.
Retired Shirley, who lives in Panshanger, said: “We have been here since 7.30am.
“It’s brilliant that this is opening because you used to have to go to Hatfield.”
Mum-of-four Rachel Ashby, who lives near the new store, said: “I have heard there are some good bargains so we will see.
“We normally do online shopping, but we thought we would check it out.
“It’s good to have a bit more variety in Welwyn Garden City.”
Among the new recruits at the store was Paul Hickling, 58, who is a store assistant.
Paul said: “I worked for Tesco in the warehouse in Welham Green before it closed down.
“I was glad Aldi have given me a chance.
“I’m 58 and Aldi aren’t prejudiced against age.
“I did some training in Hatfield and I enjoy speaking to the customers.
“Most customers are quite talkative.”
Former Onslow St Audrey’s School pupil Alyson Biggs, 29, has transferred from the Aldi in Stevenage to work in Welwyn Garden City.
Alyson, who lives in Hatfield, said: “It’s now just one stop on the train so it’s easier for me to work here.
“I think the store will be really popular because a lot of people from Welwyn Garden City go to the branch in Stevenage.”
Shoppers, including eight-year-old Emilia Hazeldine, enjoyed the free Aldi breakfast as part of the opening celebrations.
Emilia said: “It’s a huge store.”
Her mum Joanne Hazeldine added: “We got here fairly early.
“It’s exciting because it is walking distance from our home.”
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