'High noon' expected on decision for whether or not to change Leamington Tesco branch into a superstore

Campaigners want the supermarket company to rebrand the branch in the Parade and lower its prices

Campaigners protest outside the Tesco branch in The Parade, Leamington. They are fighting against price rises at the store since it was rebranded from a Metro to an Express branch in the summer

Campaigners are increasing their efforts to put pressure on Tesco to change its Leamington town centre branch into a superstore and lower its prices with a decision by the company on the matter believed to be imminent.

In the summer, Tesco rebranded the store in the Parade from it being a Metro branch to an Express - which subsequently lead to a rise in the price of many items.

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Since then, campaigners have protested against the price hikes and launched a petition demanding that Tesco designates the large 23,000 square ft store as a Superstore which would bring its prices in line with the large store in Emscote Road, Warwick.

Not only have more than 1,200 shoppers signed the petition outside the store - in addition to hundreds who have signed online - but they have now been telling the protesters exactly what they think of Tesco’s rebranding and the steep price rises.

These are mainly elderly and vulnerable shoppers who live in or around the town centre and are not able to travel afield to supermarkets with cheaper prices.

Jenny Stacy,76, said: "I shop regularly here at Tesco [in the town centre] and since I don’t have transport I either walk or take a bus.

"I can’t really shop elsewhere.

"The price rises are outrageous so I now have to cut down and think more carefully about what I buy."

Irene and Peter Taylor, Aged 79 and 80, said: “Instead of enjoying shopping I now just shop out of necessity.”

“We feel as though we have been conned.”

And Martha Lieberman Aged 86, said: "I have remained a faithful customer of the Tesco store on the Parade since it opened, decades ago.

"Following major sight loss and having to give up driving, I rely on public transport to take me to Tesco on The Parade.

" It’s the nearest significant supermarket to my home in north Leamington and can in no way be described as a ‘convenience store’.

"To increase prices so dramatically and obviously for no better reason than to maximise profits is a cynical ploy and does nothing to encourage the loyalty of their elderly and disadvantaged customers living on fixed incomes.

"Needless to say I am very unhappy."

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has backed the campaign, standing with protestors and appealing to Tesco bosses.

Campaigner Peter Glanfield has told the Courier he has reason to believe Tesco will make its decision in the next seven to ten days.