TWO national chains have moved into a village and made efforts to embrace the local community.
The new stores have opened in the former Budgens supermarket site, on Stubbington Green.
The Co-operative supermarket invited Scouts, Cubs and Beavers to help cut the ribbon at its opening
Manager Nick Bailey said: ‘The Co-operative is a community retailer and we are committed to playing a role in local life.
‘I was delighted that members of Stubbington’s Scouting groups were able to join us to share our special day. As a co-operative, our staff and members play an active role in the areas in which we trade and the new store will embrace the area’s fantastic community spirit.’
The company, the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, spent £1.3m transforming the store and it created 35 jobs.
Its opening caused some worry in the village, as it split the unit in two so Costa coffee shop could open next door.
Local independent business owners were concerned that a Costa could lead them to lose customers.
The new Costa officially opened on Saturday and it was equally as keen as the Co-op to show off its community spirit.
The under-sevens football team from Stubbington FC were invited to cut the ribbon and as a thank you, it gave the club a new kit and has sponsored the team.
Matt Coulthard, Costa’s operations manager said: ‘We want to embed ourselves as part of the community and what better way to do that than involve ourselves with Stubbington Football Club and the young people of the town.’
Craig Fenton from Stubbington FC said: ‘We’re delighted Costa has decided to sponsor us. It not only demonstrates huge support for Stubbington Football Club but also for the young people of our community.’
The store is operated by Premier Coffee, a Southampton-based franchise that has 32 cafes across the south, and it created eight jobs.
Ward councillor Christopher Wood welcomed the new jobs but encouraged people to remember the independent businesses in the village.
He said: ‘We would rather have two national chains than two empty shops. If it attracts more custom to the village then it is a good thing, as long as it does not detract from our independent businesses.’