HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition to try and prevent a shop from closing.
One Stop in Highland Road, Southsea, is due to close at the end of the month.
People are devastated. It’s the only local shop around that areaElaine Uzoamaka
But people from across the area have shown their support for the convenience store, which has been used widely for many years.
More than 900 people have signed the petition and it has been posted to the company’s director.
Elaine Uzoamaka, a shift manager at the store, set up the petition with store manager Tracy Ford.
Elaine said: ‘I was absolutely shocked. It’s part of the community.
‘We have been overwhelmed by the feedback we have had.
‘People are devastated. The staff have been there for a long time.
‘People know us by our first names and we know them. They say we are the heart of the community. The customers are the ones who said we should start a petition.’
And Elaine said she hopes it makes a difference.
‘We have got nothing to lose at the end of the day,’ she said.
‘We work there so we want to keep our jobs too but we want to keep it open for all our regular customers.
‘I’m not sure if it will make any difference but if it brings somebody down from head office to have a chat with us and speak to some of our customers then it’s worked.’
Elaine said overall she has enjoyed her time at One Stop.
‘It’s a brilliant company to work for. I couldn’t fault it.
‘But we have got to do something, at least for the customers. They have been supporting us for years.
‘It seems only fair that we do our best to try and save it for them.’
One Stop said the lease is due to expire and the firm decided not to renew it.
A spokesman said: ‘We have taken the difficult decision to close our store on Highland Road at the end of July.
‘Our priority is to ensure colleagues at the store are supported at this time.
‘We value our customers in the area and will continue to serve them at our three remaining stores in the Portsmouth area.’