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MORE than 600 people applied for just 40 positions at a supersized supermarket which has undergone its first re-fit since it opened 15 years ago.

Shoppers at Pitsea’s Tesco Extra, one of the largest of its types in the country, can now enjoy the revamped supermarket which has just undergone a 13 week makeover.

As well as boasting a wealth of new departments such as a Baby World and a new clothing range customers can also pop in to get a spray tan or get their hair done at the new Regis hairdressers.

There is also a new beauty section with make-up artists on hand to offer any advice and help as the festive season approaches and the upstairs cafe has also been revamped.

Michael Last, who has been manager of the store since January, said the experience of the re-fit had been a challenge but his staff had taken it in their stride.

He said: “We are really pleased with the results of the refit. This has been a really exciting time for the store and our customers have all been really positive about the results.

“We are now totally up-to-date with other leading Tesco stores and it’s good to see lots of people coming through the doors.

"Trade has not gone down while we were having the re-fit and its good to be getting on and trading.

“The store has been transformed and is now a bright and airy place to come along to and all the feedback has been great so far.”

As part of the store re-launch Tesco also donated £1000 to St Luke’s Hospice, based in Nethermayne, Basildon, to mark the re-launch of the store on Monday.

The store also gave £1000 to Basildon Council to support the Pitsea Community Christmas event which is taking place on Saturday (Dec 1).

All the fixtures and fittings in the shop were also replaced and the fruit and vegetables department was re-done.

Michael Starr, the refit manager, who manages the Tesco Extra in Dover, was brought in to help look after the refit and he said the store looked much better for it.

Shopper Victoria Tshabuluha, 41, who is a mother of four, lives in Bowers Gifford, and she said: “The new store look is really nice and more relaxing, it’s great for the local area to have new jobs at the store, especially for mums who might want to work a few hours a week.”