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by Luke Hollands
Hundreds of bargain hunters queued from the early hours for
the opening of the country’s 99th 99p store in Ashford.
There was even a police presence as crowds of shoppers packed
the town’s high street in anticipation of picking up cut price
goods and free gifts.
And they certainly weren’t disappointed, with the first 999
customers gifted a free large Toblerone, the first 99 given the
chance to buy a video camera for 99p and others winning prizes of
Nintendo DSs and iPods.
There was a party atmosphere with glasses of bubbly and canapes
handed round to the waiting hordes.
One customer, mum Tracey Anderson, 43, from Ashford, arrived at
She said: "I came at midnight and then came back about 3.30am. I
came to get a camcorder for my youngest daughter and some presents
for my grandchildren as it's their birthday soon."
It was a landmark day for the national chain with the Ashford
store being their 99th. Store boss Hussein Lalani said: "It marks a
magical milestone for us.
"We are very proud and would like to thank our family of valued
shoppers up and down the UK who have made this possible."
Mr Lalani said Ashford had been chosen to be the special 99th
store after research by the company showed there were more
potential bargain hunters in Kent than anywhere else in the UK.
The 99p Store has opened in a former Woolworths store, which
closed in January.
The national chain opened its first store in London in 2001. It
sells everything from garden ornaments to clothes.
The new shop is creating around 30 jobs.