Next opens new store at Wolverhampton retail park - pictures and video
A new Next store has opened its doors in Wolverhampton to customers for the first time.
Staff cut the ribbon and opened the doors on Wednesday morning - and welcomed shoppers in from the rain.
Workers did not let the downpour dampen the occasion of the opening of the huge 17,700 sq ft store in St John's Retail Park.
WATCH: Customers tour new Next store
The brand new shop has been created in the 1980s building which had previously housed PC World and Pets at Home.
A new glass frontage has been created and the store has doubled in size.
The store is also home to a Paperchase and Costa Coffee.
Manager Kerry Smith said: "The staff are so excited, this store has been a long time coming, the old store was looking very tired and a little bit dated, but now it's absolutely stunning.
"It doesn't matter how much it rains, everyone will have smiles on their faces and be buzzing.
"It's a dream come true, I'm so proud to be the store manager in Wolverhampton.
"It's massively important for the area, to show that investment and show that retail still has a place on the high street.
"This is what Wolverhampton needed, and certainly what St John's Retail Park needed, so show the customers we are still here and care about them."
Nicolae Filipopolschi, 25, and who lives in Wolverhampton, said: "We saw the advert and thought it would be interesting to come on the first day.
"The style of the shop is nice, a nice design, I like it."
Charlotte Lavender, 30, from Wednesfield said: "I think it will bring more people into the city hopefully because a lot of the shops have shut down so having a bigger Next might bring more people in."
Nasrin Ahmadw, 42, from Wolverhampton said: "Many of my friends, they prefer to go somewhere else for their shopping but now they can stay here. They can save their money, save their petrol, it's nice, we needed it."
Toby Crawford, 38, from Wolverhampton said: "I've noticed in the past two years the town centre trying to make a bit of an effort and I think this is kind of a step in the right direction as well."