Hundreds turn out to see charity superstore open in Northampton town centre

Crowds bustle into the new store at the grand opening today (July 27).
Crowds bustle into the new store at the grand opening today (July 27).

Great Britain's first Salvation Army superstore opened to a fanfare this morning (July 27) in Northampton's high street.

Hundreds of people turned out to see the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new 10,000 square-foot shop in Abington Street, on the site of the former Primark.

Project manager Nick Morton, general manager Jayne Sergeant and store manager Jacqueline McCabe welcome shoppers to the store.

Project manager Nick Morton, general manager Jayne Sergeant and store manager Jacqueline McCabe welcome shoppers to the store.

The store features a high-end women's' boutique, a used white goods section and a Tardis fitted with a turntable to sample the shop's vinyl selection.

Chief of Salvation Army Commissioner Clive Adams, who opened the store at 11am today, said: "We've got stores all across the country but this is the first of its kind. It's so different for your idea of a charity shop.

"Many happy coincidences led to us opening in Northampton and we've very pleased to be here. The response here today has been jaw-dropping. I very hopeful this will bring many people to the town."

A Salvation Army brass band was on hand to help open the store as hundreds came to see the new store.

A shopper tries out the new turntable Tardis for sampling second-hand records.

A shopper tries out the new turntable Tardis for sampling second-hand records.

Other features include a cafe featuring equipment donated by Costa Coffee and a reading area with easy chairs.

One customer, Xaqueline Barnwell-Newman, 52, from Northampton, said: "I think it's smashing, much better than I expected.I hope it will bring more people up this end of town."

Gary Daly, 49, who was shopping with his son, said: “It was not what I was expecting. I thought everything would be more expensive but the products are a really good price. There is a good designer section and we will be coming back for sure.”

The store also serves as a link to access Salvation Army services with members of the charity's pastor permanently on site.

Customers browse the second-hand vinyl collection.

Customers browse the second-hand vinyl collection.

Store manager Jayne Sergeant said: "The community has come out to see us open and see the bargains in-store.

"We've had a great start. One woman bought 22 dresses so she could donate them to a school for their prom. We've already sold two sofas and a shed.

"I'm really pleased to be opening today. It's been a long time in the making."

A Salvation Army brass band were on hand to welcome shoppers.

A Salvation Army brass band were on hand to welcome shoppers.