VIDEO: Crowds gather as John Lewis and Waitrose open in Horsham

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Hundreds gathered outside the new John Lewis and Waitrose store in Horsham as it opened its doors for the first time this morning (Thursday June 18).

After more than a years worth of waiting cheering and celebrating could be heard from both staff and customers as the ribbon was finally cut by both store mangers at 9am.

Jo Thomas (Waitrose Store manager) and Nigel Davis (John Lewis Store Manager) open the new stores in Horsham. SR1514070. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150618-102012001

Jo Thomas (Waitrose Store manager) and Nigel Davis (John Lewis Store Manager) open the new stores in Horsham. SR1514070. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150618-102012001

Queues stretched around the car park as customers from all over West Sussex waited patiently for the new £11 million development to open.

Robert-Andrew Peters came down from Guildford and was first in the queue.

He said: “I came by bus at around 6.15am this morning. I am expectant but am looking forward to the opening.”

John Rennie came down from Bare Green.

He added: “I am feeling terrific. Listening to the cheers and clapping in there it sounds like a football match.”

Both store managers were extremely happy the shop had opened and couldn’t wait to get started.

Nigel Davis, branch manger at John Lewis at Home, said: “It was actually a really emotional moment when we watched customers coming in.

“Just seeing their reaction as their jaws dropped shows our shops really are beautiful.

“For us it has been a long time in the making. We have had to wait for that moment and to see our customers reaction. It really was a special moment.

“It is incredible we have never seen anything like it before.”

Jo Thomas, branch manager of Waitrose Horsham, added: “Its amazing. To see the look on partners and customers faces this morning made me remember that excitement I had when it was first bought to me.”

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