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New Poundland store in Ashford opened by TOWIE star James Lock

By Kristina Curtis

Poundland has finally opened its larger premises in County Square, Ashford.

The store officially opened at 10am with The Only Way is Essex star James Lock or 'Lockie' arriving, slightly behind schedule, to cut the ribbon.

Large queues were eagerly waiting outside, some for up to an hour beforehand, to get their first look at the shop and to meet the TOWIE cast member.

The new Poundland has officially opened (1652536)
The new Poundland has officially opened (1652536)

Mick Fagan, Poundland area manager for Kent, said: "We had the store that was two doors down which was smaller and we closed a store last year which meant that the customers weren't necessarily getting the range and availability that they wanted from us, a discount retailer, in the town centre.

"We've been waiting for this unit to become available as the perfect location for us to move our business into, its a great site. We've got the full Poundland range and availability back in for the loyal customers of Ashford because it is a great town and we've got the addition of Pep&Co which is part of our brand now.

"Everything is back here in Ashford for our customers."

People queued for up to an hour to see the new shop and TOWIE star (1652376)
People queued for up to an hour to see the new shop and TOWIE star (1652376)

The store's arrival has been a long time coming. The high street store of Poundland, now B&M, closed last July with the brand running out of a smaller store in County Square.

It was revealed last year that Poundland would be moving into a larger unit in County Square, the former BHS store which closed in July 2016.

In addition to Poundland, Pep&Co, a quality clothing range, have also joined in with the move in what is now Kent's flagship store for the brand.

Not long after opening, the shop was quickly filled with eager customers with long queues forming inside the shop too.

The immaculate store just before opening (1652470)
The immaculate store just before opening (1652470)

Kayleigh Chapman, store manager, said: "I'm so proud, its been a long time coming. We've had the other store for a good eight to ten years now so the new one is definitely needed, the size of it and the scale of it is amazing.

"I'm very proud to be running it."

Pep&Co are a welcome addition to the store (1652472)
Pep&Co are a welcome addition to the store (1652472)

More than 30 staff are employed at the larger store.

Terry Meekings, Regional Manager for Poundland, added: "We love being in Ashford, we do very, very well here and I'm sure we will continue

"This will be Kent's flagship store. Its the biggest store in Kent by far and one of our biggest Pep&Co departments and we're really looking forward to it."

James Lock 'Lockie' officially opened the store (1652474)
James Lock 'Lockie' officially opened the store (1652474)

Lockie officially opened the store with the cutting of a ribbon and then pleased fans of TOWIE by giving away signed photos as well as taking pictures.

He said: "Its been a good reception, I've really enjoyed everyone turning up today - I really appreciate it. I think they're going to do really well here so good luck to them!"

Video: TOWIE star opens Ashford Poundland store

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