THE Morrisons store in Taunton could be missing out on tens of thousands of pounds because of "chaos" in its car park, a shopper claims.

The woman now goes to a rival supermarket because she has been unable to find an empty parking bay at Morrison on several occasions.

And she says some of her friends have also decided to take their custom elsewhere for the same reason.

Anyone can park outside the store for free for a maximum of two hours after which they will be fined.

The shopper, who asked not to be named, said: "It's a crazy system.

"People who aren't Morrisons customers go into town for a quick shop, a haircut or whatever that will only take half an hour or an hour.

"They leave their car outside Morrisons to avoid paying for a ticket in a council car park, which is admittedly expensive.

"The Morrisons car park fills up pretty quick most days and particularly on Saturdays. Some people leave their cars in the car park but not in one of the bays. It's chaos.

"I've been driving round for 20 minutes a couple of times and still been unable to find anywhere to park, so just gone home and gone back the next day.

"I've mentioned it to one of the staff, but she just shrugged her shoulders.

"I now shop in Asda, where there's plenty of room and I won't be going back to Morrisons again.

The woman said she spends an average of more than £100 a week on shopping." 

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She added: "It's mental. People who never shop at Morrisons get free car parking and customers are put off so go somewhere else. How's that good for business?

"I reckon five of my friends have stopped going there. And there must be lots of people I don't know about. That will all add up to tens of thousands of pounds a year, probably more, that Morrisons is losing."

Morrisons used to charge £1 for parking, which was refundable at the checkout.

The Lidl store in Castle Street recently introduced a system to discourage non-customers from using its car park.

Details of vehicles using the car park are recorded on CCTV. Anyone who does not enter their registration details and scan a till receipt inside the store will be fined £90.

The County Gazette has approached Morrisons for a comment but has so far not had a response.