More than 60 Rhyl shoppers gathered from 6.30am this morning for a chance to be the first inside the long awaited Marina Quay store The Range.

After months of anticipation the day, and numerous delays, the store finally launched at 9am this morning with a grand opening ceremony for the ribbon cutting by mayor and mayoress of Rhyl, cllrs Alan James and Win Mullen-James.

First in line were mother and daughter Shona and Amy Piff, of Rhyl, who arrived at 6.30am with Amy’s partner Joshua Stewart, clinching the coveted first three spots.

Miss Piff, 23, said: “The energy was amazing, even though the weather was pretty miserable. Thankfully it didn’t rain.”

As first in line, queuing without the aid of camping chairs or any comforts, Mrs Piff, 53, won a Lindt Hamper as part of a series of giveaways for the 50 first customers.

However, her daughter and Mr Stewart weren’t given anything for their early rising.

Miss Piff said: “ We thought it was the first 50 people who received gifts, but they just skipped over us and gave them to other people. It must have been because we came together. We’re all still glad we came and are really excited to be first.”

Joining the excited shoppers were Captain Range, the company’s own mascot, and the Heart North Wales radio team.

The official opening is welcome news for the Scarborough International Properties Marina Quay development, and is expected to be a anchor tenant which will attract further business into the fledgling retail park.

The Journal reported last year that the large home, leisure and garden superstore's planned Christmas opening had to be pushed back after delays fitting out the store.

Chris Dawson, the owner and founder of The Range said: “It was great to hear of so many people at the store to celebrate the Grand Opening in Rhyl this morning.”

The new store in Rhyl opens alongside three other new branches of the retailer to open today, including one in Openshaw, Manchester and two in the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Dawson added:“We are really pleased to continue our rapid expansion this year with four new stores opening today. We are certain that the jobs we have created will be a welcome boost to the area and expect that the new store will help to increase footfall within the Marina Quay development. We would like to thank the community and local council for their support in welcoming us to the town.”

As part of the celebrations over Easter weekend, the store will also feature events including children’s face painting in store craft demonstrations.