EXCITED shoppers gathered as Winchester’s new TK Maxx store opened at The Brooks Shopping Centre this morning.

The huge new store covering two floors of The Brooks saw its ribbon cut by local business owner Alex Cox, the first shopper through the doors.

Alex, owner of Raw Bean Coffee, said he decided to take some time out of his busy schedule to do a bit of shopping. “I didn’t expect to win some flowers. It’s very exciting. I  have been waiting for it to open and happy to see it finally arrive,” he said.

To celebrate the store’s opening 50 special labels were hiddedn thoughout the shop, which will earn their finders a £10 gift cards. Weeke resident Maria-Lena Loncke found the first card.

She said: “I’m very excited. I think it will be a great place to shop in Winchester. I’m a big fan of TX Maxx and I usually have to travel to Fareham or Southampton, so it’s great that it’s finally here."

Since opening their first store in the UK in 1994 TK Maxx now has more than 500 stores across the UK, Ireland, Poland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

The high street fashion chain, which has created 32 jobs with the new Winchester branch, joins fellow fashion brands Primark and New Look at The Brooks.

TK Maxx’s arrival forms part of a £1 million revamp at The Brooks to boost its appeal to shoppers.

The shopping centre is currently surrounded by scaffolding for work to revive the appearance, although The Brooks is remaining tight-lipped about how the end product will look.