Back in early 2012 I wrote this post about the Tesco in Springfield Road, Chelmsford. The shop had seen little improvement since the 80’s, and was one of the poorest examples of a Supermarket I’ve ever seen. At the start of April the store undertook a £6 million redevelopment. I was slightly concerned the redevelopment would be a bit of ‘spit and polish’, thankfully, I was wrong!

The store shut for five days in mid March for the redevelopment to complete, and not long after I took a look to see just what they’d done.

First thing that has changed is the car park, it’s been completely resurfaced, the dingy ‘inside’ parking has now got proper lighting too! Hooray! They have changed to the parking policy in store now, you need to spend £3 in store to qualify for free parking for up to two hours. The way the new system has been implimented is a little confusing, there are no barriers on the entrance or exit of the car park, and to the untrained eye it looks like you can park for free, customer or not.

When you come in your car’s numberplate is photographed by ANPR (Automatic Numberplate Recognition) Cameras, the time you enter is logged too. The idea is that when you shop in store, you get a voucher with a code on it you then go to one of the terminals in the car park, and enter the last three digits of your car registration. The system will then ‘look up’ your car and show you a picture of cars with similar registrations, and ask you to pick your car. You can then pay for the time you’ve been there, or enter the code from your voucher to get free parking.

The problem is, to those not really paying attention, I could see many people just driving off without using the terminals, and then end up being fined.

IMG_2184Once inside the store, you can see instantly where the money has been spent, it looks incredible, so fresh and bright, it’s a totally different store, fit for the future. It even has a ‘City Kitchen’ which serves hot food at all times of the day at night, from Porridge in the morning to Curry at night! Fantastic!

It is nice to see Tesco finally starting to look after the stores they have instead of throwing up even more of them, it’s good to have the supermarket our little City deserves!

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