08:45AM, Thursday 26 June 2014
A phenomenal amount of shoppers turned up for the opening of discount supermarket Lidl, causing 'manic' space races as customers clogged up the roads.
The German retailler opened up in Stafferton Way at 8am on Thursday, June 19.
Rachel Oldroyd was driving to Homebase, in Maidenhead Retail Park, at 3.30pm on the opening day.
She said the Lidl and Homebase car parks, which are either side of Stafferton Way, were both 'completely rammed' with a steward trying to co-ordinate the parking 'to little avail'.
Rachel also said traffic had to abruptly stop when an elderly shopper stepped onto Stafferton Way with his trolley.
She said: "Both lanes of traffic had to hurriedly come to a stop to allow him to cross. He could have easily caused or been in an accident."
A Lidl spokeswoman said customers were 'queuing outside the store long before it opened', and described the turnout as 'phenomenal'.
She said: "The first week of trading has been very successful and it's a very promising sign that the store will continue to be popular with the local community."
Shoppers reported that the congestion led to parking difficulties. Lidl shares 73 spaces with the adjacent Lok'nStore storage company.
Lidl added: "We expect any parking issues to resolve themselves naturally in due course however we will, of course, be monitoring the situation to see if any action needs to be taken on an ongoing basis."
Paul Kirby, who described the congestion as 'manic', said the parking steward directed drivers to Maidenhead Retail Park, over the road from Lidl.
Maidenhead Retail Park is owned by CBRE Global Investors. Its portfolio manager Alistair Fisher said 'it is too early' to say if grocery shoppers will be stopped from leaving their cars at the retail park.
He said it will work with business park retailers to resolve any parking issues.
He added that the retail park sees Lidl as a 'positive' which could bring more shoppers to the area and benefit neighbouring businesses.
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