Waitrose to close four supermarkets with 124 jobs at risk

16 September 2020, 13:45

File photo: Waitrose said 124 staff at the three stores will face redundancy
File photo: Waitrose said 124 staff at the three stores will face redundancy. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Waitrose has revealed plans to close four of its supermarkets, with 124 jobs at risk.

The grocery chain said it will shut its Caldicot, Ipswich Corn Exchange and Shrewsbury sites, and sell its Wolverhampton store to rival Tesco.

It said it made the decision to shut the branches after it struggled to make them "profitable in the long-term" after a period of "challenging trading".

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The Caldicot, Ipswich and Shrewsbury stores will close on December 6.

Waitrose said 124 staff at the three stores will face redundancy and will now enter into consultations.

Meanwhile, all 140 staff at the Wolverhampton store, which will shut on December 31, will be transferred to Tesco as part of the sale.

The closures are part of an ongoing review of the Waitrose store estate which started in 2017.

Berangere Michel, executive director of customer service for the John Lewis Partnership, said: "Closing any of our shops is always a last resort and is not a reflection on the dedication of our partners in Caldicot, Ipswich Corn Exchange, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton.

"Sadly, we have not been able to find a way to make these shops profitable in the long-term, despite the hard work of everyone involved.

"Our priority now is the wellbeing and future of our partners in these shops.

"We will do everything we can to support them and explore opportunities wherever possible for those who may wish to remain with the partnership."

Parent business John Lewis Partnership had said in July that it could close more of the supermarket arm's outlets as part of cost-saving measures.

The group previously announced the closure of eight John Lewis retail sites, which put 1,300 jobs at risk, as part of its turnaround efforts.

On Thursday, the group will update staff on the progress of its strategic review and reveal how trading has been impacted by coronavirus.

Waitrose is expected to reveal higher sales after being boosted by demand for groceries and online deliveries in the face of the pandemic.

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