Freeman Street supermarket's £250k expansion creates three new jobs
A VALUE supermarket has invested £250,000 on expanding in Freeman Street, creating three new jobs and filling a large empty shop front in a prime location.
Cut-price food store Heron Foods, which specialises in frozen products, has moved from its tiny shop on Freeman Street to a larger premises opposite – formerly the Halifax – and the unit next-door.
The unit has been empty since October 2009 when the building society – the last remaining bank on the once-bustling high street – shut its doors, despite attempts from campaigners to prevent the closure.
Yet despite the recession and the exodus of stores in Freeman Street over recent years, Heron has invested around a quarter-of-a-million on refitting the new store – which is around three times the size of the previous one.
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Area manager Leighton Smith said that business was good for the Hull-based company, which has 237 stores – including one on St Peter's Avenue – and is always looking to expand locally.
He added: "The old store was doing good business for the size of it and has served us well for over 20 years but as our range grows, so do we.
"Our hope is that this store is even more popular and will provide a better shopping experience for our customers in Grimsby."
James McGregor, 20, from Cleethorpes, had been doing temporary work as a labourer before getting permanent employment with Heron.
"A lot of my friends are struggling to get work so I'm really happy to have this job – the labouring was only temporary and I didn't enjoy it," he said.
Customers seemed to like the store as well.
Joanne Bateman, 31, of Cleethorpes, said: "The new store is bang tidy – we didn't go in the old store much because it was quite small, but this one is much better."
Store manager Denise Moloney has worked for the company for 17 years – nine in Cleethorpes before moving to be store manager in Grimsby.
She said: "People struggled to get round the aisles with buggies and trollies before so this will be a great improvement.
"We've been working really hard to get the store ready and it's definitely paid off, looking at it now."