Almost 30 years ago the opening of the Tesco store at Highwoods in Colchester brought a major sea change in how people shopped.

These images show how the store took shape, originally conceived as a scheme in 1978 for the burgeoning estate but following a lengthy process delayed until 1981 when it finally opened its doors.

The £2million superstore was then extended, at a cost of £7million following a three day closure in September 1986 for final re-fitting, the process of which features here.

At one point Tesco had three stores in the town, including the superstore at the Hythe which was built in the early 1990s and in St John’s Street, built in the late 1970s and since replaced by Wilko.