Supermarket chain to get a ‘Lidl’ bit bigger

Jack Martin is calling for the return of this much-loved Tom Parker milk float after it was stolen during the night

Original Tom Parker Dairies milk float is stolen

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ONE of the city’s most popular supermarkets is due to close – but Lidl lovers should fear not as a new store is set to take its place.

A date has been set for work to start on the Lidl supermarket in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton.

The existing store will close at 10pm on Friday, January 6, with construction starting on site on the January 9.

The build is expected to take six months, with the newly-extended and refurbished store opening in June.

The extension will house a welcome lobby and Danish-style bakery and the interior of the store will be refurbished to bring it in line with the ‘Lidl of the Future’ look.

It will take over the former car showroom site next door.

Lidl UK’s regional property director Oliver McGuinness said: ‘There’s been much anticipation for the refurbishment of our Fratton store and it’s great that we are now in a position to confirm a date to start construction.

‘We are extremely grateful for all the support that we have received so far, and would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we enter this next phase of development.’

The news has been welcomed by Portsmouth’s council leader Cllr Donna Jones. She said: ‘This is really great news for Portsmouth, in particular the Southsea area.

‘Lidl is investing heavily in the city and expanding their supermarket offering. It is good news as it will bring more jobs and extra revenue to the council through business rates.

‘Lidl is a well-known and valued brand and I’m already looking forward to the new store opening.’

The closest Lidl stores to Fratton are Hilsea, two miles away, and Gosport, three miles away. The supermarket, which was crowned Best Supermarket 2016 by readers of Good Houskeeping, has experienced continued growth over the years, as consumers flock to the shop for its products ranging from fruit and vegetables to premiums wines. Lidl’s success shows no signs of slowing, as the latest Kantar Worldpanel results outline its continued growth and market share high of 4.6 per cent.

Lidl is also looking to expand with new stores in Whiteley and Waterlooville with an exhibition of the plans for the proposed Whiteley store taking place yesterday at Solent Business Park.