VILLAGERS are in shock after hearing that its main supermarket will be closing.
Forty staff were told they would be losing their jobs when the Budgens supermarket in Stubbington closes on Friday, November 15.
Shoppers were upset at the prospect as the closure would mean the only supermarket left will be Iceland.
Mark Richardson, owner of the store, said he had no choice but to close after the landlord raised the rent.
Mr Richardson, who owns three other Budgens stores, said: ‘I’ve been negotiating for about nine months, but the amount of rent was too high, the increase was excessive so I had no choice.
‘It has killed me to make this decision. I’m gutted because I know the community so well.
‘I had to announce the closure of the store and customers are devastated. It really is awful, such a loss to the community.
‘I want to thank the staff for their support and understanding during this terrible time.’
Shoppers were saddened. Nicki Rae, from Titchfield, said: ‘I work locally so it’s handy for me to get my bits and bobs.
‘There’s more variety of goods than Iceland. It’s also provided a lot of work for local lads and lasses. It would be a shame to see it shut.’
Michael Eldridge, 77, from Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘There’s not much else in the village. There’s only one other place. If you take away the competition then who knows what will happen?’
Roger Buckley, 42, from Francis Place, said: ‘It would mean I would have to go into Fareham or Gosport to go shopping. That’s not an easy thing to do for some people.’
Stubbington ward councillor Kay Mandry said: ‘It is terrible. There’s a lot of elderly people who rely on Budgens for their shopping.
‘Where would they go? We have a lovely village and I think it is an awful shame.’