Published: 10:56, 21 November 2019
| Updated: 12:04, 21 November 2019
Scores of shoppers started queuing as early as 9am for the opening of the first Haribo sweet shop in Kent.
The first 100 lucky people were gifted with goody bags stuffed with sweet treats and merchandise - to mark the opening of the brand new store at Ashford Designer Outlet.
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Despite opening at 11am, people flocked to the store early this morning in order to be the first to step inside 'the happy world of Haribo' and bag a sweet surprise.
The Haribo Bear welcomed visitors into the 360 sq ft store - which is positioned in an old section of the centre next to Lindt.
The new store opening is the fifth in the country, as shops have opened in Yorkshire, Cheshire, London and Somerset in the past two years.
A pick 'n' mix wall, which has been filled with Starmix, Tangfastics, Supermix and Giant Strawbs, has been installed inside.
Haribo merchandise including mugs, pencils, toys and key rings will be sold in-store, as well as exclusive products imported from Haribo factories across the world.
One of the first families in the queue, who did not want to be named said: "We queued for about an hour and a half.
"The free goody bag was the main reason we got here early and I wanted to see if i could get sweets I couldn't get anywhere else.
"I have never been to a shop opening before - It's quite exciting and family friendly.
"We got advent calendars and sour bloxx moams that you can't get anywhere else. They're about £12 on Amazon but we got them for a fiver here."
Seasonal exclusives, vegetarian and halal sweets will also be on offer.
Rebecca Fox, retail manager at Haribo, said: "There’s nothing more rewarding for us than seeing the surprise and delight in people’s faces when they step into our stores for the first time.
“People know that they will be wowed with the bright colours and a fun atmosphere, but what they often don’t expect is the mouth-watering scent of our treats, which offers an all-round immersive experience for visitors the very second they step foot inside.
“We aim to offer more than just a place to shop, but also an environment where visitors can experience those moments of childlike happiness that have become synonymous with Haribo.”
Last week, outlet centre bosses cut the ribbon on the £90 million expansion - which has seen 50 new units, a children's playground and enlarged food piazza added to the shopping centre.
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More by this authorGeorgia Woolf