Crowds of eager shoppers welcomed the long-awaited return of Marks & Spencer Simply Food to Braintree today.

The 9,000 sq ft food store opened at 10am to nearly a hundred keen customers in the former Comet site on Braintree Retail Park.

Store Manager Rodney Rajack cut the ribbon to the store which will employ 62 staff and sell 4,500 different food products, including freshly baked goods and hot and cold meals from the cafe.

He said: “I’m so proud - it’s really nice to be back in Braintree and I’m looking forward to building a relationship with our new customers.”

Marks & Spencer Simply Food Braintree will be open 8am - 9pm Monday to Saturday and 11.00am - 5pm on Sundays.