RESIDENTS in Bransgore have voiced their frustration as their Co-operative store is set to close for almost five months over the festive period until March.

Co-op is set to invest £1 million to create a new-look Bransgore store with increased retail floor space and improved storage.

However, the firm plans to introduce a “walk-in, temporary shop” in front of the existing store to continue to serve the community while the work is undertaken.

One Bransgore resident, Steve Mercer, said: “Five months is ludicrous. It seems strange to do it over the festive period – normally the retail industry’s prime selling time.

“During lockdown the store was essential to so many people and the staff were just amazing. The corporate decision to close the store for so long, at this particular time in history, seems baffling."

Area manager Matt Dawe said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to make such a significant investment in Bransgore, we are confident that the new-look store will be able to better serve the community. Not only through increased shop-floor space, but also with an enhanced back-of-shop capability which enables our range, choice and availability to improve.

“We are committed to serving the community and recognise the part that a convenience store plays in local village life. That is why we are introducing one of our larger walk-in temporary shops."

The Oak Tree Parade store will close from Sunday until Friday, March 26.

The new-look store, which will have nearly 600sq ft of additional shop-floor space, will run on 100 per cent renewable electricity.