THE doors of St Helens' new Marks & Spencer store will be opened at 10am on Thursday morning (March 14) – and the Star has been given a sneak preview ahead of its unveiling.

The 40,000 square feet store, which is over two floors, includes an expanded clothing section, a food department and a 64-seat café.

Loyal customer Patricia Pennington, Johnny Vegas’ mum, is set to cut the ribbon with the M&S team.

The first 200 customers in the queue on Thursday will be rewarded with golden tickets, offering a range of ‘spend today’ vouchers, from £5 to £200.

Character Percy Pig will be present and the St Helens Salvation Army brass band will be playing music.

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The new store is the flagship M&S opening in the North West this year and, as well as expanded clothing departments, it has brought an M&S café to the town for the first time.

As the store's team – who have all moved across from the former Church Street store – put the finishing touches to the new store, the Star was given a sneak preview inside.

The ground floor includes an expansive womenswear section and an M&S Food Hall. Upstairs is a spacious menswear department, more womenswear, a beauty section, children's wear and the impressive café, which overlooks the retail park.

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Throughout Thursday the M&S team will showcase the store, giving customers the chance to enjoy food samples.

Lucy Grimes, store manager, said: "Cutting the ribbon and welcoming customers into our new store on Thursday, March 14 will be a great moment for the team and marks the start of our next chapter – I hope lots of local customers will pop down.”

The store is located at Ravenhead Retail Park, Milverny Way, Saint Helens, WA9 1JF, and is open Monday – Saturday, 8am – 8pm, and Sunday, 10am – 4pm.

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