Leigh Park Tesco workers applauded as store is closed for the final time
THUNDEROUS applause welcomed supermarket workers as they left their store for the final time this weekend.
The Tesco Metro in Greywell Road, Leigh Park, was closed for good on Saturday, June 26, following a ‘long-term sustainability’ review by the company.
Over the weekend, shoppers flocked to the store to say their goodbyes to the much-loved staff members, who have become familiar faces in the community.
Former employee Karen Gauntlett lives nearby, and says the store will be greatly missed.
She said: 'That shop has been there for as long as I can remember.
'I also worked there until I was made redundant in 2016 so this shop and its staff have a very special place in my heart as it does to a lot of residents for one reason or another.
'That shop has also raised a huge amount of money for charities with various events so it's going to be hugely missed.
'Tesco has meant a lot to the staff there myself included, it's never been 'just a job' to us, it was a family and through the years we have all supported each other through the good and the bad both professionally and personally.'
As staff left the store for the final time, residents gathered outside to clap for them and celebrate their years of hard work.
In the 2020/21 financial year, Tesco recorded profits of around £53bn, an increase of one billion compared to the previous year.
But the company still did not see the Leigh Park store as a profitable venture in the long term.
Nearby resident Peter Baldwin, 79, has lived in the area since he was nine years old.
He said: ‘This store has been here for more than 35 years, and so losing it presents a huge problem.
‘There are quite a few elderly people who live around here – now if they want to go to Tesco, they need to travel to Havant, and for many of them that simply isn’t possible.
‘I fear that the precinct is going to become a ghost town at this rate. Losing Tesco was a major blow to the area.
‘With all the billions of pounds Tesco makes each year, you would think they could afford to keep the store open.’