THREE convenience stores in Poole will be closing within a week of each other amid tough competition from mini-supermarkets.

The McColl’s store in Alder Hills will be shutting its doors at the end of this week, while the shop in Broadstone will be closing at the end of next week.

The One Stop store in Oakdale will also be closing on Saturday.

Customers speaking to the Daily Echo outside the shop yesterday said they would be sad to lose their local convenience store.

Spencer Cliff, who works at Wessex Angling Centre, a few doors along from One Stop, said he was “absolutely gutted” when he heard the news.

“I stop off here every day to get my papers and a few other bits and pieces. It will be very, very inconvenient when it shuts down.

“Sparky who works at the store has been there for 29 years,” he added.

Denise, who did not wish to give her last name, said: “I go to the store two or three times a week. It’s quite a walk for me to get to the smaller Tesco store and the prices are sometimes higher.

“It will be inconvenient when the store closes and I feel for the staff.”

Oakdale ward councillor Peter Adams said he was “very sorry” to see the store close.

“I hope somebody will be able to open a new store there and make a success of it.

“Fortunately, there are two larger alternative convenience stores within Oakdale so there is quite a lot of provision elsewhere in the area,” he added.

The Daily Echo contacted One Stop for a statement but did not receive one at the time of going to press.

A spokesperson for McColl’s said: “Having explored all options, regretfully we have taken the difficult decision not to renew the leases at McColl’s stores in Broadstone and Alder Road. The stores’ last day of trading will be Sunday, September 30, and Sunday, September 23, respectively.

“We are saddened to no longer be operating the stores and our priority has been to support all affected colleagues.”

Anthony Ford, president of Poole Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said the stores’ closures will affect local people, especially the elderly and others without the use of a car.

“They’re called convenience stores so it’s a real inconvenience for the people who rely on them that they’re closing. It can be a massive mission to go to your local supermarket if you don’t have transport.

“It’s unusual three are closing down around the same time, but the rise of cheaper supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi have had an impact on stores like this. It all comes back to the ‘use it or lose it’ adage,” he added.

Dr Jeff Bray, senior lecturer in marketing and retail management at Bournemouth University, said traditional convenience stores were struggling in the face of competition from “big boy competitors” like Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local.

“Generally speaking, the convenience store market is growing. The problem is, because there is growth, all the big grocers who previously weren’t competing now are in a big way.”

“Big competitors can buy products cheaper and have a greater efficiency of scale than smaller convenience stores. It’s survival of the fittest,” he added.