THOUSANDS of shoppers will be forced to change long-held habits because Tesco at Jarman Park has shut down for a week.
The store closed on Sunday for seven days to allow the finishing touches to be made to a major 1,600 square metre expansion.
The work will transform the superstore into a Tesco Extra, with new ranges of clothing, toys, electrical goods and a mezzanine-level cafe.
Tesco would not say how much money it will lose during the closure, or how many customers it would affect, but rival supermarkets in the area are eyeing the prospect of shoppers looking for an alternative.
Sainsbury’s in Apsley Mills happens to be launching a ‘brand match’ service, which gives customers a coupon to the value of the difference if their goods would have been cheaper at Tesco or Asda.
Store manager Adrian Cousins said: “We are confident that once customers have shopped with us, enjoyed the high level of service our colleagues provide and tasted our award-winning food, they will decide to do their Christmas shopping with us this year instead.”
A spokesman for Asda said: “I would hope people would want to come to us whether Tesco was open or not.”
Perhaps sensing the danger, Tesco is laying on a free bus to take shoppers from Jarman Park to its nearest alternative branch in Watford and back again.
Ian Dunne, Jarman Park store manager, said they would relaunch on November 21.
He said: “We have tried very hard to keep disruption to a minimum for shoppers whilst building work has been taking place, however we do have to shut the store temporarily to finalise the build.”