'GOLDEN tickets' were handed to the first 200 customers of a new Marks and Spencer foodhall in Walton.

The supermarket chain opened the store's doors to its first customers this morning.

The store, in Arthur Ransome Way, will be led by manager Lisa Johnson alongside a team of 50 colleagues.

To celebrate the opening, M&S gave away the tickets, which included offers for £5 and £25 'spend today' vouchers, as well as one £200 gift card and two £100 gift cards.

Ms Johnson said: “My team and I are really excited about our new store in Walton.

"We’ll be working hard to provide outstanding service for the community and the new foodhall will offer all the everyday essentials, as well as seasonal inspiration and innovation.

"Customers will also be able to shop for M&S’s full clothing and home collections via M&S.com and using our collect in store service.

"Cutting the ribbon and welcoming customers in for the first time was a great moment for the team and I hope lots of residents will pop down and join us.”

The store will be open from Monday through to Saturday, from 8am until 9pm, and on Sunday, from 10am until 4pm.

The opening follows the departure of Marks and Spencer from Clacton yesterday, with the Pier Avenue store closing its doors for the final time despite public outcry.

Marc O’Connor, head of region for Essex, said: “The decision to close our Clacton store was a difficult but necessary one.

"We’d like to thank our customers for the feedback they’ve given the team and we hope to see lots of them continuing to shop at our other stores in the local area, including our new foodhall in Walton which has opened today.”