Workers mark four decades of Carrefour, Asda and Gateway in Chandler's Ford superstore

Daily Echo: Workers mark four decades of hypermarket Workers mark four decades of hypermarket

SHE was only there on doctor’s orders, and it was only meant to be for six months.

But 40 years on and thousands of customers later, Brenda Lyons is helping the Asda Eastleigh supercentre celebrate its ruby anniversary as she hangs up her uniform for good.

Sales assistant Brenda – who has never had a day off sick – will be marking the anniversary with colleagues today.

Staff are being encouraged to wear red Tshirts and will have a wall of memorabilia in the cafeteria.

The store, in Chandler’s Ford, which opened as Carrefour in 1974, was one of the first hypermarkets in the country and at the forefront of a shopping revolution, offering residents a number of services under one roof.

Brenda, 68, of Eastleigh, revealed it was thanks to a conversation with her doctor that she got involved. She was concerned about her three-year-old daughter Rachael not sleeping.

“He said ‘There’s nothing we can do, the best thing is to go out and get yourself a job’ – so I blame the doctor for this!” said the grandmotherof- six.

Things were very different in the 1970s store – bread only cost 4p, and every cashier had their own till which they brought in and out at the end of their shift.

There were no credit cards, no barcodes and instead of shelves stacked with food there were cages.

Numerous shops lined the store front, such as an ice cream parlour and a bank.

On its first day 30,000 customers poured into the store.

“We were scared stiff,” said Brenda, who works on the selfservice check-out. “It was a great big store and they were flooding in. There was such an atmosphere, it was brilliant.”

Fellow long-serving staff member Rosemary Kirby, 64, of Eastleigh, said: “When it opened it was the only one of its kind – there wasn’t anything else.”

The store became Gateway in the late 1980s, then Asda.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:31pm Fri 18 Jul 14

TurquoiseJ says...

Loved carrefours, many happy Saturdays with dad, racing round to finish our half of the shopping list before mum & my brother finished!
Loved carrefours, many happy Saturdays with dad, racing round to finish our half of the shopping list before mum & my brother finished! TurquoiseJ
  • Score: 7

9:43pm Fri 18 Jul 14

mike coll says...

For my sins I used to work there on night shift stacking shelves, must have been 87, or 88? the night manager was no manager at all, he would sit in his office reading papers and **** all night, the head of personal was a woman in her 50s who was a plasterer, she must have spent an hour each morning applying the layers to her face.
Ha, what a place, no happy memories at all.
For my sins I used to work there on night shift stacking shelves, must have been 87, or 88? the night manager was no manager at all, he would sit in his office reading papers and **** all night, the head of personal was a woman in her 50s who was a plasterer, she must have spent an hour each morning applying the layers to her face. Ha, what a place, no happy memories at all. mike coll
  • Score: 3

9:53pm Fri 18 Jul 14

derek james says...

i believe the head of security was caught nicking stuff, he was the last one they would suspect!
i believe the head of security was caught nicking stuff, he was the last one they would suspect! derek james
  • Score: 3

10:44pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Positively4thStreet says...

I still call it Carrefour even now sometimes.
I still call it Carrefour even now sometimes. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree