A long-standing Sainsbury’s superstore has received dozens of complaints from fed-up customers over fears of a decline.

Shoppers have taken to social media to express grievances about long queues and sparsely stocked shelves.

People also claim to have seen rats, although Sainsbury's has denied there have been rodents in its shop.

Rachael Dunlop, who has used the store in Southend Lane for 20 years, described it as a "sad decline".

She told News Shopper: "When I went last week there were queues four people deep at the tills that were open and at least four of them were closed.

"The store wasn’t noticeably busier than usual though. The stock was sketchy and there were big gaps in the fresh produce."

Rachael said stock issues have been ongoing for a year but the problem has got "markedly worse in the past few months".

She added: "The till queues have happened quite suddenly in the last two or three months. There has been a deterioration in cleanliness too.

"The cosmetics area is filthy with spilled make-up and accumulated dust and fluff, and there has been next to no stock in it for at least three months."

She said she will continue using the store because she lives just five minutes away and it remains the most convenient location.

The Forest Hill Society wrote to Sainsbury’s to question how it plans to make improvements.

Its statement added: "The regular weekend queues and lack of stock suggest that something is going very wrong in one of your largest stores."

Dozens of complaints were written on social media with one woman saying she had to wait 45 minutes for someone to toast a ready-made sandwich.

Councillor Alan Hall said he was "very concerned" with the store and asked Sainsbury's to respond to "heartfelt" complaints from its customers.

Multiple people said they had spotted rats, with one person claiming one ran out in front of her last week.

Sainsbury’s apologised on Twitter to some of the complaints and said it was "aware of the situation".

The retailer wrote: "Apologies for the poor service and lack of facilities being open to purchase products, this is not what we would expect in our stores."

A spokesman for Sainsbury's told News Shopper no rats were present in the store.

The company's statement read: "All of our stores aim to offer the highest level of customer service. We always welcome customer feedback and always strive to improve."