The wait is almost over as Hawick shoppers prepare to welcome the return of the town’s Lidl supermarket next week.
The company has confirmed its new store in Wilton Path is to reopen its doors from 8am next Thursday after undergoing a complete rebuild.
It was originally due to open yesterday, but that date has now been put back a week as the store was not ready.
Hawick and Denholm councillor and honorary provost Stuart Marshall will be on hand to cut the ribbon, and customers will be given the chance to sample some of Lidl’s produce throughout the day.
The supermarket forms part of ongoing expansion and regeneration plans in the UK that will eventually see the German-based budget chain’s store portfolio here increase to 1,500.
Hawick shoppers will certainly notice the difference as in addition to the creation of 15 jobs, the store’s sales area has been vastly increased.
New facilities also include a bakery, longer dual-style tills, customer toilets, baby-changing facilities and ample parking for both cars and bicycles.
The glass-fronted facade of the building has been designed to maximise natural daylight, and sensor-controlled exterior sun blinds will operate automatically.
The electrical lighting system is made up entirely of LED fittings said to be 50% more energy-efficient than traditional lights.
Gordon Rafferty, Lidl’s head of property for Scotland, said: “We would like to thank all those who have played a part in improving our Lidl store in Hawick.
“It is wonderful for us to create more jobs and investment opportunities in the area, and we can’t wait to start serving our multi-award winning products in the local community once again.”
Mr Marshall said he was delighted to have been invited to do the honours at next week’s official opening and believes townsfolk are excited about its arrival despite concerns from some quarters that its arrival, along with that of a nearby Aldi, could further hit trade on the already-struggling High Street.
He said: “I think the design is modern, bright and attractive, and compared to the former building it certainly lends itself perfectly to this part of town.
“I have lost count of how many times I have been asked as to when will this new store be open.
“We mustn’t forget that the opening of this store is not only for Hawick.
“I think it will also complement all the other development works that are going on in that particular part of our town, and I’m sure it will give visitors to Hawick some added choice. I am delighted to have been invited by Lidl to open the store.”