Tesco is to temporarily close its Goodge Street store in August to carry out works to reduce the shop floor area. The store is due to open again in early 2024, the company has announced.
“Our Goodge Street Express store will temporarily close on Thursday 17 August and reopen after a programme of refurbishment has taken place. We remain committed to serving the fantastic local community and we look forward to serving our customers in our new Goodge Street store early in 2024”, said a Tesco spokesperson.
The store will close at 5pm on Wednesday 16 August.
The announcement is a confirmation of the concerns raised last year about the future of the store after a planning application was submitted showing a neighbouring office block occupying part of the retail floor space.
The store is viewed by local residents and community groups as an important destination for groceries, and the store’s long-serving staff are valued say local people who will miss them during the period of closure.
Tesco first appeared on the street in 1966. In 1988 it was under threat of closure, until local residents and community groups brought Tesco bosses and landlords together to strike a deal to keep it open. Fitzrovia News reported it at the time as a victory for residents in Fitzrovia who needed an affordable place to shop.
Then in 2001 local people won another battle to keep the store open after Camden Council refused planning permission for the store to be enlarged. The disagreement centred on an on-street loading bay which the council said was unacceptable.
The case went to a planning appeal where the landlords, Tesco and local residents won the argument for an expanded store.
The current store is much bigger than it looks from the outside — extending back along Whitfield Street past an office entrance, and some mock windows, and shares part of the neighbouring office block.
But in the summer of 2021 Tesco Goodge Street was one of 89 stores that were downgraded from the “Metro” to “Express” format.
Tesco has four other small “Express” stores in the neighbourhood. The most recent to open is at the south end of Tottenham Court Road. But the food and household products offer from these stores is limited compared to the larger Goodge Street store.
The supermarket giant scored well in a recent consumer survey but the store’s head office will be unlikely to win many friends in Fitzrovia.
The reduced offering at Goodge Street will mean many local people shopping elsewhere, and further hastening the decline of this shopping street.
Update 12 August 2023: this article was updated to state that the last hour and day of trading would be 5pm, 16 August 2023.