CUSTOMERS have spoken out following hectic scenes at the new B&M on the store's first day of trading as Northwich continues to battle coronavirus.

The major retailer opened its latest store at the former Marks and Spencer unit in Northwich on Thursday.

Shoppers flocked through the shop's doors on its first day of trading – but some customers say they felt unsafe given the need to social distance and avoid Covid-19.

One customer, who wished to remain anonymous, sent the above photo to the Guardian showing a queue for one of the store's tills.

The customer said: "The new B&M – no queue to get in, anyone can walk in as they please, far too many people in there.

"I was sorry I bothered [visiting] once I was stood at the till because it was impossible to social distance.

"The store is brilliant and will be a nice addition but they need to take the pandemic seriously.

"They wouldn’t have known how many were in there as there was no one counting in and out, there were till queues down aisles for every till."

Northwich Guardian:

The new B&M opened its doors on Thursday

Since retailers were allowed to reopen from lockdown this summer, many businesses have gone the extra mile to keep customers safe by imposing limits on the number of customers who can visit.

A number of Guardian readers have also commented on Facebook to say how busy the store was on Thursday.

Natty Thomas said: "Went in today and it was packed, staff stood at back of shop lined up in the way, came out without buying anything as queues all up every aisle.

"Shame as the stock looked great what I got to see."

"I went today it was packed – could not have a good look round," said Christine Coad.

Alan Jones added: "Packed spreading Covid-19 – sort it out thank you."

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Cheshire West and Chester Council has repeatedly called on businesses to do all they can to protect customers from coronavirus, and residents have previously been urged to contact the council if they felt businesses were not complying with coronavirus guidance.

In a statement issued following the reopening of shops and hospitality businesses in the summer, council leader Cllr Louise Gittins said: "A Covid-secure business will attract more customers, while also playing a part in protecting lives and livelihoods."

The Guardian has approached B&M for comment.