A supermarket giant has opened its second store in Blackpool – bringing with it vital jobs for the local economy.
A new Morrisons M Local store has opened in Cornelian Way, Marton, creating 20 jobs in the town.
New posts range from retail assistants to assistant manager, with a mixture of part-time and full time hours.
Store manager Tony Richmond said the team had worked hard to get the store ready to open.
He said: “We had a great opening and now it’s fantastic to be able to welcome customers through our doors.”
The new store has opened in the former Blockbuster building, which closed earlier this year after the DVD lender went into administration.
Among the features of the new Morrisons M is a ‘Food to Go’ section, where customers can purchase coffee, pastries and sandwiches.
Mr Richmond said: “The ‘Food to Go’ section is already proving to be a real hit and shoppers seem to love our fresh fruit and vegetables.
“We look forward to meeting more of our new customers in the coming weeks and are keen to hear their feedback.”
Ashley Hackett, of the Blackpool Football Club Community Trust, was invited to open the new convenience store because of his work in the local community.
Mr Hackett, head of community at Blackpool FC, was asked to cut the ribbon yesterday morning for the store’s official launch.
Traders in the area have cautiously welcomed the new opening, with jobs hard to come by in the current economic climate.
Steve Pye, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Federation of Small Businesses chairman, said anything the creates new jobs should be encouraged.
He added: “It’s a big supermarket taking business away from other smaller shops but that’s the nature of the beast.
“At the end of the day, anything that’s creating jobs in the current climate is a good thing if it’s getting people off the dole.”
He said he was naturally concerned about the impact the new supermarket would have on existing businesses but was hopeful they could withstand the challenge.
Mr Pye added: “It’s a double edged sword really.
“I hope it goes well and not to the detriment of other smaller businesses.
“Will it bring people round to the area? I don’t know.
“But it’s creating jobs at this moment – hopefully it doesn’t mean someone else is losing theirs.”
Morrisons says it has identified a gap in the market and the new supermarket will offer shoppers a wider choice of fresh produce.
It also says its opening hours – 7am – 11pm every day – will not impact upon the lives of neighbours in Cherry Tree Road and Newhouse Road.