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98 new jobs as store opens its doors

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ALL SMILES: Lisa Wilkinson does the honours at the ribbon-cutting ceremony
ALL SMILES: Lisa Wilkinson does the honours at the ribbon-cutting ceremony

FAMILY retailer Wilkinson has created 98 jobs by opening a new store in a Kent town.

The new outlet, in Gillingham High Street, was declared officially open at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Lisa Wilkinson, grand-daughter of JK. Wilkinson, founder of the store chain, and Stuart Mitchell, chief executive officer, were among those at the event.

Children who attended received free balloons and sweets to mark the occasion.

Rodney the Dragon was also there to share in the celebrations and entertain the children.

Wilkinson also invited youngsters from Just Learning nursery to design and make numbers counting down the days until the store officially opened.

The children attended the opening and received £100 worth of Wilkinson goodies for their efforts.

There will also be a family fun day on Saturday, December 1, when a face painter will be creating some designs for youngsters between 10am and 4pm.

It is the 291st Wilkinson store to be opened in the UK and together the stores serve over 180 million customers each year. The company plans to have 500 stores across the UK by 2012.

New store manager Rob Jewkes said: “We are delighted to be open and look forward to welcoming the residents of Gillingham into the store."

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