A new Lidl supermarket opened its doors to Cardiff shoppers for the first time yesterday.
The budget grocery store, on Leckwith Road, Canton, submitted plans for the 1,063 sq m food store in October and got the go-ahead from council on January 3.
The site had originally been intended for a hotel, with planning permission for the whole site, including Cardiff City Stadium, approved in January 2005.
The opening of the supermarket had been marred by fears of worsening traffic around the vibrant retail park, despite the creation of 40 new jobs.
But cabinet councillor for transport and Canton, Ramesh Patel, offered his reassurances.
He said: “It’s early days, it would be a surprise if there was a parking problem. Traffic has been a concern on matchdays for many years but now planning permission has been given we cannot do much about it.”
One local said: “People just park wherever they want on game days and there are always traffic jams. I can only see it getting worse.”
But the opening sparked huge crowds on the first day and, with more than 12,000 people through the door on the first day of business, the store looks to be a hit with residents.
Shopper Jim Paterson told Lidl on Twitter: “[I] loved your store yesterday, but it was totally manic.”
Coun Patel added: “My wife works in a supermarket and when her store opened 30 years ago there were massive queues in the first few weeks.
“Everyone wants to come in and have a look round, so high foot-fall is expected. We will have to keep a watchful eye on the traffic situation.
“If the site had been a hotel there would have been even higher foot-fall and the stadium and burger restaurants attract high numbers as well.
“If concerns are raised by residents about the area then we will address them”.
In a statement released in January, Lidl said it wants to provide a “modern resource” that will benefit the “whole community”.
The statement outlined: “Lidl UK as an operator acknowledges that store format and design are important in terms of the wider built environment and setting of the site in the broader context. “The design therefore is sympathetic in scale to the existing development in the surrounding areas.”