THE rise and rise of Tesco continues unabated.

Not content with a shop in the Triangle, the supermarket giant is set to open a Metro store in the former Borders unit in Bourne Avenue on Monday.

In a move welcomed by many, it will bring Bournemouth a town centre supermarket to rival Poole’s Sainsbury’s.

With staff busy filling the shelves ahead of the opening, store manager Steve Thomson gave the Daily Echo a sneak preview yesterday.

He said: “For me, and for friends and family, it’s the sort of shop where you don’t have to go out to another Asda or Tesco on your way home, it’s the convenience of being able to do it in town,” he said.

Last week, the Echo reported that almost 800 people had applied for the store’s 85 jobs – 19 full time and 66 part time.

Steve added: “We got a big response from the job centre and we’ve taken a lot of people who were out of work back into work.”

Company bosses are keen to stress that the new Metro store will be a different offering to the Express store in the Triangle. Melanie Chiswell, corporate affairs manager at Tesco, told the Echo that the new store was aimed at a different market.

She said: “A lot of our Express customers come from within a 500m radius because they’re convenience stores.

“The Express store in the Triangle has been incredibly popular, the Chamber of Commerce and Bournemouth council have told us that it’s regenerated the area and improved footfall, getting more shoppers to the area and boosting businesses.

“With a large store in the town centre we thought that was a perfect opportunity to regenerate that part of the town centre and make use of a vacant site that few businesses would go for because of its size and scale.

“An Express store is about top-up shopping.

“A Metro will enable you to do a weekly shop in the town centre if you wanted to.”

Steve, who was previously manager at the Lymington store, added: “It’s very exciting, a challenge that I’ve never experienced.

“When I arrived it was a building site and now the reality is coming true.”