AFTER months of planning the Plymouth and South West Society's £ 2 million Homemaker store has opened in Exmouth, Devon.
Former Youth Training Scheme apprentice Jo Wood is now in charge of the society's new homeware store after being recruited 20 years ago. Having worked in a number of roles and departments Ms Wood said: "It sounds quite scary that I have been with the Society for 20 years but, honestly, they have flown by.
"I have really enjoyed each of the roles I have fulfilled but this one is by far the most exciting and most challenging. I am tremendously proud of this new store and my new team. There is a definite "buzz" in my team as the launch day approaches and to think that this all started for me with a YTS opportunity is amazing."
The Homemaker store in Exmouth marks part of Plymouth & South West Co-operative Society's massive investment in their trading area. So far investments in their refit, refurbishment and purchases, to their already strong store portfolio, have totaled over £ 14 million pounds.
At the official opening customers queued from just after dawn to take advantage of the opening day bargains and by the time store manager, Ms Wood to cut the ribbon at 9am there was over 300 people eagerly waiting.
Ms Wood added: "We couldn't believe the queues when we saw them first thing in the morning and at one stage it did feel we were slightly "under siege" as the queues at the checkouts showed no sign of slowing.
"But over all it was a fantastic day and a fantastic start for the store. I must say a huge thank you to all my team – everyone was tremendous and made a really hectic and demanding day great fun."