WAITROSE in Barry closed today (Sunday, June 9) seeing the end of a 15-year retail era.

The supermarket’s final customer, before the doors closed at 4pm, was grandmother Shelley Bannon, of Penarth, who said she was “shocked” when the store manager went running after her.

Mrs Bannon said: “I had just finished shopping and it was awfully sad.

"The manager came running after me and I wondered whether they thought I had stolen something.

” I was in shock.”

Mrs Bannon was presented with some oriental lilies after being told she was the last customer.

“The staff are lovely and so helpful,” she said. “The flowers are beautiful.

“I’ve been trying to get green-fingered in the garden and the chaps in there are so helpful.

“I will have to go to Cowbridge and Pontprennau now.”

Retail giant Waitrose announced, in March this year, that it would close after store bosses confirmed that it had exchanged contracts to sell its Palmerston Road store to Anlo Properties.

Home Bargains and Iceland’s, The Food Warehouse will replace the store.

Waitrose & Partners regional manager, Alistair Bullock said the company had “sadly not been able to find a way to make the shop commercially sustainable in the long-term.”

Iceland, in Holton Road, and Home Bargains, in Thompson Street, will continue trading in their existing Barry town centre locations.

The new investment is expected to provide up to 75 new jobs.

If Vale council planners agree, the two new stores will open to the public in early 2020.