SHOPPERS eagerly counting down the days until a new Marks and Spencer store opens in Clacton will not have much longer to wait.

The retailer has announced its new store is expected to open later in August.

M&S is opening a Foodhall at Brook Park West retail park, off the A133.

The shop is situated opposite the existing Lidl supermarket.

The 15,500 sqft shop has seen 50 new jobs created.

In a post on social media the store confirmed it is due to open on August 22.

A spokesman said: “Our new M&S Food Hall will be opening on 22nd August. So not long to wait now.

“We want you to come on our new journey with us so keep your eye out for updates on how the store is progressing from an empty building to a welcoming, busy, bright and happy store.”

Store manager Tim Norton has been busy recruiting for positions across the store from customer assistants and bakers to visual merchandisers and operations roles ahead of the opening later this year.

As well as creating 50 new jobs, the new-look M&S Foodhall store represents a significant investment and follows the retailer’s recent announcement that it plans to invest £500 million in its store rotation programme, creating over 3,400 new jobs nationwide.

Mr Norton said: "Our community is at the heart of M&S, so to be able to create new job opportunities for residents is truly fantastic.

"We are working closely with job centres and employability schemes to find and train the best applicants from the area for the wide variety of roles that are available, including bakers, and customer assistants.

"We have identified some great candidates, and we can't wait for the community to meet them when we open the doors later this year."

The new food hall will offer a fresh market style design and fresh displays with products from M&S select farms.

It will also include a bakery with fresh daily-baked bread and pastries.

The closure of the Pier Avenue store in 2018 was described as a “devastating blow” for the town centre by traders.

The building was bought by Tendring Council for £3.1million the year before M&S closed, but a lease remains in place until 2027. The site is currently sub-let to discount chain One Below.

The retail giant closed its shop in the town as part of a programme to reshape its estate in the face of online competition and the opening of the Foodhall in Walton in 2019.

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