Brian Ford s Discount Store on Seven Brethren Bank in Barnstaple has been in need of major redevelopment for several years to offer customers an improved service and upgrade staff and operational facilities, but the huge cost of rebuilding a new store on

Brian Ford's Discount Store on Seven Brethren Bank in Barnstaple has been in need of major redevelopment for several years to offer customers an improved service and upgrade staff and operational facilities, but the huge cost of rebuilding a new store on Seven Brethren has made this an unviable option for the family, and one which needed the resources of a national company. Subject to a planning application being successful and if a new store is built, it will not operate as Brian Ford's but will re-open as Tesco who now own the company. The outstanding planning application is yet to be agreed, however, and this leaves some uncertainty at this stage as to when the new store might be developed. In the meantime we will continue to trade under the Brian Ford's banner. It has been our intention to make this public only when we had absolute certainty of future plans but a recent newspaper article has prompted this announcement today.Tesco understand our concerns for the future prospects and job security of our staff and colleagues, and share our vision for the regeneration of Seven Brethren Bank.We have some fantastic people working with us at Brian Ford's, some for many years, and it has always been important to us that their futures were protected. Tesco have been very supportive of this and overall we are content and happy to know that our customers will continue to enjoy having access to local shopping, but in a modern superstore of high quality. Tesco are one of the largest and most successful retailers in the world.My brother, Richard, and I will continue running the company for the time being. We have enjoyed 34 years of trading from this site. It has developed bit by bit over this time, but is in desperate need of modernisation and further investment. We would like to express our sincere and grateful thanks to all our customers, our staff and all our past colleagues for making Brian Ford's the unique store that it had become. We will be around the store as usual over the coming weeks and months.We are very proud to have helped families in North Devon for over 30 years by striving to reduce the cost of their weekly shop and to have operated what became the busiest independent foodstore in the UK. We will also continue to offer great bargains at the Value House in Barnstaple and Weymouth and further develop our other businesses at Fermoy's, our garden centre and farm food shop near Newton Abbot, our leisure industry interests in the United States and additional retail outlets in the South West that we hope to bring into the group in the very near future.If planning is approved, Tesco will build an exciting store for you and future generations of staff and customers. In the meantime, it is business as usual and we will keep you informed of any further news.Michael Ford