Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Lisa and Graham are on the executive committee, and Chamber of Commerce meetings are held at Well House Manor

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Lidl opens in Melksham

Now here's an odd morning for you; in my recently elected role of President of Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I was invited to attend - "in chains" no less - the opening of the new Lidl store that re-extends the Town Centre across the river Avon. And indeed I was very happy to do so; Melksham is a growing town, and it can't grow in just houses and hairdressers and charity shops. For sure, other traders in what could be regarded as similar businesses, such as Aldi and Sainsbury's many not be quite so "very happy".

A week ago, the place looked like a construction site when I drove past, but an incredible amount of work has been done in the seven days. And at 07:30, the Mayor, the Town Crier, representatives of the District Council and myself to represent The Chamber met outside in a cold car park, dodging around the last-minute line-painters. And we were shown around the store; I don't think I have ever seen so clean, nor so completely stocked, a supermarket. Nice to see the "we have passed the VAT reduction" signs up, and (frankly) slightly amusing to see prices crossed out and replaced by lower ones on some lines - I know that the law lets them do that across stores, but they haven't been selling these things at higher prices here in Melksham.

It wasn't the first time I've been to Lidl - in fact Santa's minced pies for the train 10 days ago came from their Devizes branch - but I was impressed by how much larger the Melksham store is, how much more accessible is the car park too. I note that the entrance and edit have been arranged off the one way system so that the easier entrance is from the bypass, and the easiest exit in that direction too, with a "round the loop" needed to access from / to the town centre.

At twenty to eight, a new team of staff were being briefed around the till area - a great circle with final introductions and last minute instructions; the new store manager concentrating on this while our "VIP" party was shown around by the acquisition and opening team - I'm sure a scenario that they've repeated many times in the past and hope to many times in the future.

Opening of Lidl in MelkshamAnd so to an opening ceremony. A welcome by the Town Crier including "God save the Queen" even though she hadn't made it (did anyone think to invite her?). Kind words from the Lidl folks about how welcoming Melksham has been. And an introduction, a "thank you for the confidence in the town", and a best wishes from the Mayor, who apparently used to go to Boddington's Barbers almost exactly where we were standing, and remembered the Temperance Hotel just over the way. And - being Christmas, the store was opened by cutting a tinsel strip across the door and in flooded the crowds - there must have been 40 or 50 people waiting, even at 08:00. It always seems odd to me that people will queue for things like store openings, but clearly they knew what they were there for. Even while the official party was being photographed by the press, the first sale - a digital camera - left the store.

Picture - the local press (Matt) interview the new store manager (Scott) ... who should be joining The Chamber ;-)

(written 2008-12-11)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z402 - Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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  [3812] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 1, Campus and Chamber of Commerce - (2012-07-22)
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  [3752] Melksham Visitors Map - Bus routes and train lines to and from the town - (2012-06-04)
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  [1250] Business speed networking - a place tonight! - (2007-06-28)
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Predictive Load Balancing - PHP and / or Java
Getting hold of the wrong end of the stick
Quick Summary - PHP installation
Summary of MySQL installation on a Linux system
Lidl opens in Melksham
Learning to Program in C
Training Passports - booking a training program
Frosty Morning, foggy evening
Bath Christmas Market
2009 - Hotel, Meeting, Training Course prices
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