ITS ROOTS are firmly in Portsmouth. So it’s fitting that nearly 150 years after being founded in the city, the Southern Co-operative opened its 200th food store in the area.
So it’s fitting that nearly 150 years after being founded in the city, the Southern Co-operative opened its 200th food store in the area.
The retailer, which has its headquarters at 1000 Lakeside in North Harbour, yesterday cut the ribbon to welcome its milestone store in Purbrook.
Assistant manager Nick Simms said: ‘It’s fantastic knowing that we are the 200th store and we’re in the heart of Portsmouth.
‘Customers can expect fresh foods and friendly staff.
‘The company has a work ethic of high standards and is all about the community.’
As part of its ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ initiative with local charities, the store opened with a £500 cash donation to The Rowans Hospice, which is also in Purbrook.
The hospice’s director of marketing and fundraising, Amanda Clapham, cut the ribbon at the grand opening.
She said: ‘It was a privilege to do so and we wish them lots of success with the store.’
The hospice, which has worked with the Southern Co-op for about three years, offers specialist care to patients suffering with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.
Amanda said: ‘This is an opportunity now, because we’re right on their doorstep, to work with them maybe on a slightly larger scale.
‘We’re very happy to do so, as we are local, so it’s exciting times and we hope to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the Co-op.’
The opening of the Southern Co-operative’s 200th store comes 143 years after the first food branch was opened in Charles Street, Portsmouth, on May 9, 1873.
Originally called Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society, the local enterprise now has stores across the south of England and in Wales.
The first 200 customers to walk through the doors of the new store yesterday received free bottles of prosecco and cupcakes.
The Rowans Hospice also held a raffle, where prizes included food vouchers, wine, and free teeth whitening.
Dawn Browne, one of the first customers, said: ‘It’s got easy access because it’s got a bigger car park.’