HUSBAND and wife Teresa and Stephen Meade were given a warm welcome as they became the first customers to enter the new Tesco superstore in Portsmouth today.
The couple, who live in Leopold Street, Southsea, had for months been eagerly watching the development of the new shop next to Fratton Park.
They led the queue of customers heading up into the superstore and were handed flowers and gifts by a number of Tesco employees.
Teresa, 57, said: ‘It’s absolutely fantastic. I have been waiting for this for so long.
‘It’s going to be ten times better than our local shop.
‘I just hope that this is going to take off because I think it is absolutely brilliant — it looks smashing and it’s going to be a fantastic addition for Portsmouth.’
The couple were one of about 50 people to flood into the store this morning.
Inside were balloons and more than dozen members of staff to greet them.
Jon Roberts, store manager, was delighted with the turnout.
He said: ‘The last ten days have been immense because that’s when all the stock came in.
‘So we had ten days to fill the shelves and get it to this standard. I’m incredibly proud of the work everyone has put in.
‘To see all our customers coming through the door has been phenomenal.’
The store’s official opening will be taking place at 10am today.
Among the guests of honour will be Portsmouth FC legend Alan Knight, who will be greeting customers, as well as Pompey’s mascot, Nelson, who will be around to pose for photos.
The shop, which employs about 350 people from across the city, will be open seven days a week.