99p store opening early for festive rush
A DISCOUNT store is to open two days earlier than planned because of popular demand.
The 99p Store had been due to take over the defunct Woolworths store in Paignton on Monday.
Now company bosses have decided to bring their grand opening forward to Saturday to meet increasing demand in the run up to Christmas.
A spokesman for the firm said: "We've had so much demand to open early.
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"It must be because we're getting closer to Christmas and people are after bargains and stocking fillers."
The company received more than 200 entries when it teamed up with the Herald Express to find a lucky shopper to open the new store in Station Square with a special 99-second trolley dash.
Delivery driver Kevin Stephens, from Preston, Paignton, and Penny Eustice, a car company employee, from Newton Abbot, were the lucky winners and will now go around the store on the opening day and fill it with as many items from the shelves as possible.
If either of them beats 99p Stores' record of 265 items, they will have the contents of their own trolley doubled and take it home.
Mr Stephens, 47, a father-of-two, said: "I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to go around the store like the clappers and try to grab Christmas decorations, tools, batteries and toys.
"I was sad to see Woolworths go. I was one of the last to go in the store.
"So it's good to be the first one in this new store. It's good to be involved in a happy event in Paignton."
Mrs Eustice, 67, had been due to take part in the trolley dash but will now be replaced by her daughter Penny and grandson Joe after the store decided to bring the opening day forward.
She said: "I hope she can grab a few toiletries and toys.
"I don't know if they will let Joe run around the store with her, but it's something they will enjoy. I'm a bit disappointed I can't do it myself."
The Paignton 99p Store will be the 123rd UK 99p Store and the 52nd ex-Woolworths store to be re-opened by the company.
The new store will open at 9am on Saturday.