A NEW Tesco Express has opened its doors on Barnstaple High Street.
The store, Barnstaple’s third branch of Tesco, opened yesterday morning and had an immediate effect on the High Street.
Town centre manager Craig Bulley said footfall to the lower end of the High Street appeared to be above average on Wednesday, while new store manager Jennie Hart said the store had been very busy.
“We opened at 7.30am and have been busier than we expected,” she said.
“We had a really busy lunchtime and exceeded expectations by 10 per cent. We’ve gone from wondering whether we’d meet our budget to being confident we’ll exceed it.”
Jennie, who has transferred to the store from the Braunton branch of Tesco, also said she was relieved to finally be open.
“We had a few complications in the last few days but everyone pulled together to get the job done,” she said.
Things didn’t go entirely smoothly for Jennie and her team of 19 staff, 12 of whom are new recruits.
There was a hiccup on opening day when a fridge broke down but she said she was still very happy with the way the day went.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by people saying thanks for being here,” she said.
“There have been no complaints and no-one’s said we don’t want you to be here.”
Mr Bulley said he was one person who was happy to see the store there.
“I don’t know why footfall’s been so strong today but quite possibly Tesco is a factor,” he said.
“It’ll be quite interesting to look at over the next week.”