Shock as major store is plunged into darkness

Sainsburys store in St Annes.
Sainsburys store in St Annes.

Shoppers and staff were left shocked as St Annes’ biggest store was suddenly plunged into darkness.

Sainsbury’s supermarket had to be evacuated and six hours of Saturday trading was lost after the store on St Andrew’s Road South fell victim to a power cut.

Hundreds of pounds worth of chilled food had to be destroyed and the frozen stock was only saved from a similar fate by the fact that a delivery lorry was at the back door at the time of the incident and was able to transport items away.

The store closed mid-
afternoon, six hours ahead of its normal 9pm closing time, but opened as normal the following day after a generator was sourced and transported from the Midlands.

The generator is set to supply the power until the end of this week while a problem with a transformer, which caused the power cut, is rectified.

But store manager David Grayson said that as far as shoppers were concerned, since the generator arrived, it has been normal service.

“It was a shock when it happened but it was just one of those things and the emergency procedures we had in force worked well.

“Thanks to the customers for their understanding,” he said.

“A small generator we have in store allowed the tills to keep working for us to process the shopping which was in customers’ baskets but the store was in darkness and we had to close until the generator arrived.

“It has been normal service since, although we were told it would take a week to fix the transformer problem.”

A spokesman for Electricity North West said: “We received notification that there was a potential fault at a substation in St Annes and our engineers arrived on site on Saturday afternoon to investigate.

“On arrival, we discovered that it was a private network and the substation supplied power to Sainsbury’s only.

“We have liaised with Sainsbury’s own contractors and once they have carried out the work we will be back onsite to reconnect the building back to normal supply.