SHOPPERS in Leamington are being penalised say protesters concerned over recent changes made to a town centre Tesco store.
Protesters are continuing to gather to voice concerns over the Parade store’s recent transition from a ‘Metro’ to an ‘Express’.
Branches under the ‘Express’ brand typically include prices to reflect ‘convenience store’ style shopping where customers buy goods on an as and when basis.
But the group fears price hikes could inconvenience local and elderly people who rely on its easy access.
Spokesman Peter Glanfield said: “Many of the shoppers there buy in baskets on a daily or regular basis since they can walk there, and can make it their principal place to buy food. Other shoppers travel home using the bus stop immediately outside the store. The shop has therefore the most environmentally friendly customers – those who don’t use a car to go shopping. The shop can meet all their needs for food.
“The prices are now being raised to levels well above the bigger Tesco between Leamington and Warwick. The elderly, those without personal transport and locals in the centre of town are now being seriously penalised.”
A petition was also launched on Friday following a handful of protests outside the store.
According to Tesco, the decision reflected a change in shopping habits.
A spokesperson said: “Over the last few years, we have seen our customers’ shopping habits change and we have taken the decision to re-brand all of our Metro stores to better reflect this.
“Our Metro format was originally designed for larger, weekly shops, but today nearly 70 per cent of customers use them as convenience stores, buying food for that day so the majority of them will be rebranded as Express stores.”