‘They are a part of my life’ – customers’ tributes to staff as Tesco closes its doors in The Bridges

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Shoppers have been saying their goodbyes as Tesco closes its Express store in Sunderland’s Bridges Shopping centre.

Tesco confirmed in March that the store would close this month.

The firm says it is looking for an alternative site in the city centre but that the Bridges branch shuts its doors today, Saturday, April 2.

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Joyce, Carling, 71, has been coming to the store since before the Bridges was roofed over in the late 1980s..

“I live in Pallion, but I have a bus pass and I come down two or three times a week,” she said.

"I mainly go to Marksie’s or Tesco to do my shopping and I am going to miss it a lot.”

Teresa Greenhalgh described herself as the store’s “favourite customer” and said she was “very angry and disappointed” at the decision to close it.

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"I come down at least once a week but sometimes twice,” said Teresa, from South Hylton.

The Tesco Express in The Bridges closes todayThe Tesco Express in The Bridges closes today
The Tesco Express in The Bridges closes today

"I will miss it very much – most of all I will miss the people. They always make you feel welcome. I think a lot of people will be disappointed.

"It is a very friendly atmosphere because you see the same faces. They are a part of my life.”

Theresa said she was worried about what the closure would mean for the city centre, adding: "We don’t have a department store any more and now we don’t have a supermarket.”

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Thirty-year-old Stacey Dorey, from Springwell, said she thought the store would be a major loss for people nearby, saying : “It is so handy, especially for the people that live in the flats.

Joyce CarlingJoyce Carling
Joyce Carling

"They are going to have to go all the way to the big Tesco at Monkwearmouth and that is not going to be easy, especially if they don’t have a car,

"I know a couple of people that work there and it is quite sad people are going to be losing their jobs.”

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The Rev Chris Howson, from Sunderland Minister, said the store’s days had been numbered for a while, saying: “During Covid, I was in there getting my weekly shop and the staff were brilliant.

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Teresa GreenhalghTeresa Greenhalgh
Teresa Greenhalgh

"For the company to reward staff in this way is despicable. I just want to say ‘Thank you’ to the people who have worked there.

"It is a huge loss.”

Eighty-two-year-old Robert Reed, from Fulwell, said he would miss the store a great deal and added: “I come down about three times a week.

"I love to wander round the town to meet and talk to people.”

Tesco was on his route for a particular reason “The cigarettes are always cheaper here for the person I buy them for and every time they go up, this is the last place to put them up.”

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Valerie Crossley, 74, had made trip from South Hylton especially for the store’s final day.

Stacey DoreyStacey Dorey
Stacey Dorey

“I have just used the last of my vouchers,” she said. “I can’t see me making the trip all the way to Monkwearmouth.

"This place will be a big miss.”

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