NEW pictures have offered shoppers a first glimpse into Colchester's newest supermarket.

Sainsbury's Local, in Via Urbis Romanae on the edge of the Kingswood Heath development in Mile End, opened its doors to customers this morning.

Following the 9am ribbon-cutting ceremony, shoppers filled the store as they browsed for essentials and the freshly baked bakery items on offer. 

Gazette: Celebration - The new staff members after the orange ribbon was cutCelebration - The new staff members after the orange ribbon was cut (Image: Sainsbury's)

Store manager Ellie Connolly said she expected the supermarket to get busy during the school run and also - going forward - when Colchester United play at home.

She also explained how community Facebook pages helped create "excitement" for the opening and also thanked councillor Martin Goss for "spreading the word" online.

Work on the Sainsbury's Local - meaning it is a not a superstore - began earlier this year, while keys to the building were handed over on Monday in preparation for the store's launch.

As well as a tasty bakery, the store has an Argos collection point and a Costa Hot Drink machine. 

There are already three Sainsbury's in Colchester, including a convenience store in Layer Road and two large stores, one in Priory Walk and another in Western Approach, Stanway. 

The store will be closed this Christmas Day but will be open on Christmas Eve from 7am to 9pm and from 9am to 9pm on Boxing day.