Marks & Spencer finally opened its new lively store in Stevenage to a crowd of excited shoppers yesterday.

Hundreds queued to be the first to browse the retailers modern re-brand in Stevenage's Roaring Meg Retail Park, which covers nearly 10,000 square metres across two floors and includes a foodhall and café.

Store manager, Dior Hudson and Mayor of Stevenage, Councillor Sandra Barr, joined together to cut the ribbon and officially open the store at 9am.

The Comet: Customers enjoying the new M&S digital caféCustomers enjoying the new M&S digital café (Image: Whitney Jones)

Dior said: "The store is an exciting investment in the future of M&S in Stevenage and I can’t wait for our customers to explore all the new features for themselves."

The shop is one of the first in the country to showcase the new marketplace-feel design, with in-store features including sustainable 'Fill Your Own' stations in the foodhall, a spacious new Beauty department and a 174-seat digital café.

M&S promises to deliver a "bigger, better, fresher shopping experience" while also committing to having sensory shopping on Sunday mornings.

The long queue of eager customers were treated with 'Golden Tickets', giving them vouchers and one lucky shopper the chance to win £200 to spend.

The Comet: Excited shoppers queueing before 9am at the opening of the new Stevenage M&S.Excited shoppers queueing before 9am at the opening of the new Stevenage M&S. (Image: Whitney Jones)

Shoppers were greeted by Percy Pig and cupcakes as they entered the bright store where a live DJ played pop tunes, providing a show-stopping shopping experience.

M&S left Stevenage in 2015, as the town centre store in Queensway was "no longer commercially viable".

Mayor of Stevenage Sandra Barr was excited the flagship store returned to the town. She said: "What a magnificent place for retail shopping.

“Stevenage was chosen by M&S against tough competition from Stoke and Leeds and we are delighted that they see Stevenage has great retail potential and because of its regeneration vision.”

The shop now has convenient ways to pay, with plenty of checkouts for speedy service, a mobile Scan & Shop option available via the M&S App, and a new digital Click and Collect service.

The store will be open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.