Grocery chain Tesco has confirmed it still intends to create two new Express stores in the area despite cost-cutting closures nationwide.
The supermarket giant revealed it has suffered falling sales and profits over two years, and has proposed to close 43 stores across in a bid to bring down costs. None of the existing stores in Hemel Hempstead are affected by the closures, but a company spokesman confirmed as-yet unstarted work to build two Express stores – one in the town and one in neighbouring Bovingdon – are still set to go ahead.
Highfield’s Royal Stag pub on Fletcher Way was shut down in November despite a campaign by regulars to keep it open. The site – opposite the Bellgate shopping parade including a Co-op store – had been bought by Tesco with plans to create the smaller convenience store branch in its place.
In Bovingdon, Tesco was granted planning permission to construct a store and eight apartments on the corner of the village High Street with Chesham Road in 2010, but building work is still yet to begin, despite the company successfully having applied for more time to develop the site.
The proposal has seen widespread opposition from village campaign groups.
The spokesman explained: “We’re still looking to open new Express stores on Fletcher Way, Hemel Hempstead and Chesham Road, Bovingdon and we’re grateful for the support local people have given our plans.
“We’re not yet in a position to confirm opening dates but we’ll keep the local community updated.”
The company is cancelling the building of 49 planned new stores around the rest of the country, but will open 14 new shops this year, seven of them smaller convenience outlets.