The closure of a shop in the heart of a Chichester community has sparked outrage among residents.
They are blaming the opening in January of a new nearby Co-op for its demise.
In a parting shot to the Co-op at the former Inn on the Green pub site in Parklands, a message was posted in the Costcutter convenience store window, which read: ‘six lost jobs, trade lost to six local firms, one home lost, 13 years’ work. Thanks Co-op’. And now residents fear more stores along The Ridgeway parade could follow the same fate of Costcutter.
“I’ve been going to the shops in the parade there for years and just saw the Costcutter boarded up with the signs in the window,” said concerned resident Mo Unitt, who took a picture of the shop’s window message.
“There was no need for the Co-op store to be there at all and I think the council was wrong to let it open. The existing stores served the area perfectly adequately.
“With the Co-op store now deciding to stock papers, the newsagents at Parklands will struggle.”
The message in the window of the former Costcutter building was soon taken down and replaced with a letter referring people who require access to the premises to contact Chichester District Council’s valuation and estates manager. The council owns the former Costcutter building.
Two University of Chichester students, Robert Head and Chris Peckett, were angered by the closure of the shop.
Mr Head said: “The emotions we all feel about this are extremely strong and we want the Co-Operative to know how upset we are.”
A spokesman for The Southern Co-operative, Phil Ponsonby said: “The neighbourhood food store market is extremely competitive and if we had not taken the premises in Parklands when they were offered to us, it would have been a national food store operator.
“Our store has provided work for 13 local people and our aim is to encourage shoppers on the estate to use the parade rather than travel to the superstores on the edge of the city.
“We are sure that the other businesses in the parade will benefit from our long-term presence. We rely on a thriving interactive community with a diversity of local retailers for our stores to be successful.”