A major shakeup in the West Wight’s supermarket situation is set to take place this autumn, as Freshwater’s Co-Op superstore is set to be sold to Tesco.
The West Wight’s largest supermarket will change hands in the next few months, subject to a number of conditions being met. The sale is expected to complete in the Autumn of this year.
Despite the Freshwater store being ‘successful’, its owner Southern Co-op says that the sale will allow it to focus on its convenience stores, including the shop in Avenue Road, which will continue to serve customers in their communities.
Opening in 2015, the Afton Road superstore replaced the former shop just across the road, which is now the home of Rapanui. At the time, it created new jobs and stocked locally produced foods. The store also supported Islanders unable to leave home during the pandemic by operating a telephone shopping service.
It’s hoped that the transition to Tesco ownership will be smooth, allowing local partners and stakeholders to minimise impacts.
Mark Smith, Chief Executive, said:
“Whilst Freshwater is a successful store, it’s our largest store and the only one that fulfils the supermarket mission alongside our other 200 convenience stores. We do our utmost to provide the very best service to our local communities and we have every expectation that Tesco will continue this service once the sale completes.
“This sale presents an opportunity for Southern Co-op to focus on our convenience estate, including our Avenue Road store in Freshwater which will continue to serve the local community.”
“We would like to emphasise that the decision to exit a site is never taken lightly and in no way reflects negatively on the hard work and commitment of our colleagues, especially throughout the pandemic.
“As a regional business, we remain committed to the Isle of Wight economy and communities and will continue to serve the island through our other food stores, funeral homes and our partnerships with community organisations and food and drink producers.”