A NEW 99p shop is attracting more than 5,000 people through its doors every day, it is claimed.

The 99p Stores shop in Pier Avenue, Clacton, opened in July after the closure of the town’s Woolworths branch.

It has proved so popular the shop is locking out customers at busy times and enforcing a a “ten out, ten in” policy to limit the number of people cramming into its aisles.

Ali Sultan, store manager, said: “It is the prime location in Clacton and one of the town’s biggest shops.

“Woolworths couldn’t survive in a recession as it was a big retailer. We have filled the gap in the town left by it.

“On weekends, we have 200-plus people through the doors every half an hour.

“Most of our stock, especially the promotions, are cleared out by 4pm, and we have deliveries every day.”

Mr Sultan thinks the shop has been especially successful because of the number of holidaymakers coming to Clacton this summer and because residents are looking to save money during the recession.

“Being a seaside town, it attracts a lot of tourists who are here for the day,” he said.

“It is not only because of the recession, but it is playing a big part to attract people from Clacton and the surrounding areas.”

Mr Sultan said the shop employed almost 40 full-time and part-time staff.

“99p Stores have taken over 29 Woolworths stores and by the end of the year, we expect to have about 50,” he added.

“In those stores we have more than 400 former Woolworths staff working.”

Hussein Lalani, commercial director of 99p Stores, said customers were now being asked to queue at busy times.

“We have been a victim of our own success,” he explained.

Pierre Oxley, chairman of Clacton Chamber of Trade and Tourism, said he was pleased the store was bringing in so many shoppers, but felt the town needed a wider variety of retailers.

He added: “The good thing is it is one less empty shop and it draws people into the town centre.

“It will have a knock-on effect on all the other retailers by bringing people into the town.

“We need a variety of retailers, but Clacton also needs a big store, like Next, to attract people. There are not that many empty shops in Clacton compared to other seaside towns, but 99p shops will always be popular.”