“Arctic” conditions at a supermarket have led customers to call for action. 

The temperature on the shop floor at Marks and Spencer in High Street, Epping, has plummeted to 12 degrees, leaving staff in gloves and scarves and customers rushing for the exits.

Shoppers have spoken of problems when visiting the store after the shop’s heating broke on Friday.

Ajita Dass was in the shop for 20 minutes today and said: “I couldn’t wait to get out. It was like being in the Arctic.

“Every time I come it’s cold, you’re better off outside even on a cold day.”

Fellow shopper and Epping resident, Daniella Allison, said: “It was freezing. I noticed the ladies at the checkout were wearing gloves.”

Joy Flack, 79, from Epping goes to the shop most days and said: “When I walked in I noticed it was extra cold and I didn’t want to hang about.

“I will warm up at home with a nice cup of tea.”

Operations managers at the store, Paul Eldridge, explained engineers had been waiting for a part in order to fix the problem and return temperatures to the usual 16 degrees.

He said: “Engineers are due in this evening and I certainly expect the heating to be fixed by the end of the week.

“We have allowed staff to wear gloves and scarves and they are able to leave the floor at any time to get a hot drink.”